Salmon Arm  

Shuswap residents can expect help 'sifting through the ashes' of lost homes

Sifting through the ashes

North Shuswap residents will soon have help handling homes and properties damaged by the Bush Creek East wildfire, which has burned 43,380 hectares and remains classified as out of control.

A convoy of disaster relief vehicles and equipment left Calgary on Monday morning, heading to the Shuswap to aid in wildfire relief.

Samaritan's Purse will be combing through the ashes of the wildfire which has destroyed 270 structures. The group says nearly 180 homes were damaged or destroyed.

“Samaritan’s Purse is helping residents who were forced to flee for their lives from catastrophic wildfires that ravaged B.C.’s Shuswap region,” the organization said in a statement.

At the request of the region's Emergency Operations Centre, Samaritan's Purse is sending staff and equipment to help clean up damaged properties and search for anything that survived the flames.

“The loss from forest fires across British Columbia has been staggering,” said Keith Waara, acting director of Canadian disaster relief for Samaritan’s Purse.

“The needs in the Shuswap region are immense, and we will do all we can to help residents start their long road to recovery.”

The convoy headed to North Shuswap includes a Disaster Relief Unit tractor trailer which is equipped with special safety and clean-up equipment. An office will be set up to coordinate volunteers and accept requests for help. Homeowners looking for assistance with their home or property can call 1-833-738-7743.

A convoy of staff and vehicles is currently in West Kelowna sifting through the ashes of burned homes in the area.

Those wanting to volunteer can visit the group's website. Anyone interested in donating to the group's disaster relief efforts can visit the website to donate or call 1-800-663-6500.

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