Emergency crews are scrambling to contain wildfires in Interior. Black Press files

EDITORIAL: Helping fire victims from Victoria is a phone call or mouse click away

Red Cross on the ground in affected areas and at the ready for your donations

The wildfires burning through the B.C. Interior have caught virtually everyone’s attention, with social media pages and up-to-the-hour coverage of how residents are being affected and any progress being made in the multiple fire fights.

Black Press reporters with our sister papers in the Cariboo, some of whom have found themselves personally caught up in the evacuation orders even as they have kept people abreast of the latest news on the ground, have done yeoman’s work getting stories from their communities out to the broader world.

That includes readers and viewers in Victoria and Esquimalt, many of whom have family and friends in the affected areas. People here may be wondering how they can help, especially when communication with those in the fire zones may not be as reliable as usual and a large number of the more than 10,000 evacuees have been moved to other communities far from their homes.

Look around when you’re shopping and you’ll find various outlets are collecting donations to be passed along to organizations such as the Canadian Red Cross, which is once again taking the lead on assisting displaced residents and those who have lost virtually everything in the fires. People can text FIRES to 45678 to donate $10 to the Canadian Red Cross BC Fires Appeal. Or you can call them at 1-800-418-1111 or go online to bit.ly/2sZOffm.

People have already gone to great lengths to help, including a number of Greater Victoria firefighters, but especially those who live closer to the communities affected. People have transported horses and pets out of the danger zones for evacuees, and others have brought various supplies from blankets and pillows to cold drinks to non-perishable foods.

As the Red Cross plans for such disasters, it has infrastructure in place to deal with displaced residents. So if you’re planning on making a trip north to help with supplies, check in first to find out what might be needed.

As always, cash is best, as it can be turned into exactly what is needed most in these kind of situations.

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