A Cache Creek family is stranded in Ladysmith, watching nervously as wildfires burn back home. Skye Ryan has more.
James and Heather Daniel and their two young children live in an area that’s under an evacuation order, leaving them in limbo after a vacation on Vancouver Island.
Pushing her children on a Ladysmith swing set, Heather feels a world away from the smoke-filled skies and forest fires that are threatening her Cache Creek home.
“We are still kind of stranded,” Heather said.
“We’re helpless down here and not being able to come home. It’s a tough situation,” said her husband James.
The family of four arrived in Ladysmith Wednesday for a short visit with Heather’s father. On Friday, when they planned to leave, the massive forest fires broke out and made them evacuees from a distance.
“There’s no word on how soon we’re going to be able to get back in,” Heather said. “You don’t realize how much you take for granted until you’re sitting there watching somebody run through your house and you have to decide is that worth it.”
Adding to the stress, Heather said, was that it was a run around trying to access emergency funding for evacuees from so far away.
“Because we’re not there and able to check in, we were denied,” she said.
“It was like no, no, sorry about your luck,” said Daniel’s father Randy Perry.
“Shouldn’t have been on Vancouver Island,” he added, shaking his head.
After a lot of calls, she was finally able to get vouchers for emergency supplies like toiletries, but she says it was this community that really came to their rescue.
“We’ve even had somebody on the Island that we don’t even know offer their house to us over Facebook,” said Heather. “Yeah so sweet. “
The province’s emergency services department couldn’t tell us how many evacuees like the Daniel’s are now in limbo on Vancouver Island. Though anyone that is should call their Regional District back home to get help.