Members of the local community are looking at ways of helping those who have had to leave their homes behind in Lytton.
For Aisha Coglan, who has family there, it was unsettling to watch the news unfold about her hometown being destroyed by wildfire, not knowing how she could help.
Having lived in the village for 38 years, she said she was in disbelief having found out her brother and friends lost their homes.
“I just watched in horror as it unfolded. It was just so quick. It just didn’t seem like it could be real,” she said.
Refusing to feel helpless during this time of need, she made a call on social media asking for donations that she would personally drop off to displaced Lytton residents.
The donations have been pouring in since the fundraiser launched on Saturday.
“It’s nice to see this community coming together and helping when things are needed,” Coglan said.
Dozens of people have driven to her house and dropped off needed items, including Tracy Fleming.
“This fire season is shaping up to be scary for everyone. So, I know it’s upsetting me. I know it’s upsetting my friends and family and I know it’s upsetting people all over the province,” she said. “I’m really happy that there’s something set up so that we can give back and feel like we are participating in a good way.”
The province held a press conference on Sunday, updating the public on the fires ripping through British Columbia.
So far, two people have died in Lytton.
The wildfire is currently classified as “out of control” and the evacuation order is still in effect as of Sunday.
The B.C. Wildfire Recovery Fund launched today and officials are urging people to donate money instead of items if possible.
“Unless a community has asked for specific goods, British Columbians who wish to help are asked to make a monetary donation to trusted organizations such as United Way, Food Banks BC or the Canadian Red Cross,” said Pader Brach of Emergency Management BC.
Coglan also prefers gift cards as it’s easier to buy goods closer to Lytton.
She also asks the public to donate shade and large tents, non-perishable food, camping stoves, work wear for firefighters, beading supplies, craft supplies as well as toys and games for children if they’re able to.
“I’m just so shook up and praying that my family will be safe and all of our community members will be found. Many people are still missing and it’s just so overwhelming,” said Coglan.
“I know our community comes together in the most magical way and we will take care of each other. This is what I can do right now and I’m just hoping for continued support because so many people have lost literally everything.”
Anyone interested in donating to Coglan’s fundraiser can give her a call at 250-415-7816 or reach her online.
READ MORE: Lytton fire evacuees include former Greater Victoria School Board chair