In just hours, firefighters from seven different fire departments on south Vancouver Island raised nearly $20,000 to aid wildfire relief.
Crews from the Victoria, Saanich, View Royal, Langford, Oak Bay, Esquimalt, and Colwood fire departments hit the streets on Sept. 11 to raise funds, and in less than five hours collected $19,636 for two fire-ravaged communities, says Victoria Fire.
“The disastrous effects of fire have scarred these areas and we hope this donation will help in some small way,” the fire department said Tuesday.
It took to Instagram to say the funds will be split between the West Kelowna Fire Department and Hawaii Firefighters Association, to be dispersed into their communities as they see fit.
“It is in our culture as firefighters to show up and help, both on the job and also off shift,” it said.
The fire in Lahaina, on Maui’s western peninsula, broke out on Aug. 8, and officials say it’s the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century. Last week, Hawaii Gov. Josh Green confirmed the death toll remains at 115.
Meanwhile, the McDougall Creek wildfire that destroyed homes when it swept down on West Kelowna in August continues to be battled by almost 300 firefighters.
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“Usually, it is within our own respective cities, towns and municipalities,” said Vic Fire, “but when disaster strikes we often disregard borders and band together as family to overcome immeasurable odds.”
It thanked those who donated, as well as Ed Bain and Jeff King from CHEK’s The Upside who broadcasted live from the fundraiser outside Save-On-Foods on Foul Bay Road in Oak Bay.
“There are a lot of generous people on our island. It makes us proud to serve you!” reads the post.
But it’s firefighters who are getting acknowledged most, and rightly so.
“This year especially, watching what firefighters have been doing in regions affected by wildfire has been nothing but astonishing,” added Vic Fire.
“THANK YOU to all these Firefighters for holding the line and looking after your communities.”
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