Burns Lake councillor Charlie Rensby is encouraging community members to open their homes to people who have been displaced due to wildfires in the region.
Rensby said the current wildfire situation is the “biggest natural disaster to hit the Lakes District.”
“But we are still here,” he told Lakes District News in a statement. “I won’t deny that we are not out of the woods yet, and the worse could very well still be coming. But what I know for a fact, is that we don’t give up.”
“Time and time again this community has seen crisis and and pain, and time and time again we have come out stronger and more united,” he continued.
“These fires will test our strength, our resolve, and our very hearts. We will be stretched to the breaking point, but we will not break. We will be pushed to the edge, but we will not fall. We will fly. Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow. But we will pull through this and be stronger than ever.”
Rensby added that opening homes to evacuees is an important way to show support for each other during these tough times.
“And let us show that under all this smoke and ash, that we are still here.”
Rensby was the only Burns Lake council member to provide a statement to Lakes District News about the wildfire situation. He added that this was his personal statement, and that it has not been endorsed by village council.
Rensby, along with local resident Angelika Posselt, has been supporting The Postmen, a group that offers disaster relief to support wildfire evacuees and front-line workers. They have set up a donations drop-off centre at P&B Feeds’n’Needs. Local resident Nikki Chap has also recently joined this group.
Wildfires in the Burns Lake region continued to grow last week, with some showing “aggressive behaviour,” according to the B.C. Wildfire Service. The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako has issued several evacuation orders and evacuation alerts for the region.
Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, was given an aerial tour of the wildfires in the Burns Lake area last Wednesday, when nearly 2800 crews and 204 aircraft were combating the approximately 460 fires burning across the province.
Due to hot and dry conditions and an increased wildfire risk, the B.C. Wildfire Service is prohibiting campfires, category two open burns and category three open burns within the Northwest Fire Centre’s jurisdiction.