Homeowners in the Kelowna area needing help with their home or property can call 1-866-628-6565.
As tens of thousands of British Columbia and Northwest Territories residents return home after raging wildfires forced them to evacuate in late August, Samaritan’s Purse is on the ground to help. Your prayers and support are critical.
In West Kelowna, British Columbia, and surrounding areas, more than 200 buildings, including around 150 homes, were burned.
During the evacuations, 14 of our disaster relief specialists arrived to help British Columbia’s Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness operate a 400-bed evacuation facility for people in the Kelowna region.
We also set up and operated an evacuation center in Kamloops for evacuated residents of the Shuswap area.
“We had about three minutes to escape when the fire jumped the lake and hit our street,” said Adrienne, a Kelowna evacuee. “We are safe but don’t know if our home survived. Many have been lost. It’s heartbreaking, but we’re trying to stay hopeful.”
A convoy of relief vehicles, including one of our Disaster Relief Unit tractor trailers, left on Friday, Aug. 25, to equip volunteer teams to remove debris, haul away spoiled appliances, and help families sift through the ashes for surviving possessions. Our assessment teams are working with homeowners in preparation for the affected neighborhoods to open and recovery efforts to begin.
Our teams are also in contact with local churches to see how we can best support them as they serve their communities.
In the Northwest Territories, some of the tens of thousands of evacuated residents are starting to return home while many others remain displaced. Our teams are in contact with multiple communities affected by wildfires to discuss how we can best support their recovery.
Please join us in praying for residents of British Columbia and the Northwest Territories as they return home. Pray for the families who have lost houses and property. Please also remember the firefighters, other first responders, government leaders, and local churches.
“Our hearts are broken for residents who have had to flee these fires,” said Samaritan’s Purse senior program developer Keith Waara. “We are thankful to our supporters who are making it possible to help as many people as possible in Jesus’ Name.”
This story was originally published on August 19 and updated on Sept. 7.
Help Samaritan's Purse respond quickly to victims of disasters within Canada, providing not only physical assistance as people clean up and rebuild after floods, fires, and other disasters, but also emotional and spiritual support in the aftermath of tragedy.