Red Cross Responds to Bulkley Nechako RD Concerns About Wildfire Relief Funds

John Crawford
11/06/2018

An official with the Canadian Red Cross says her organization recognizes the huge impact that the 2018 wildfires had on residents of the Bulkley Nechako Regional District -- and is doing what it can to help.

BC and Yukon Regional Vice President Kimberley Nemrava was responding to complaints from the RD's outgoing Board Chair, Bill Miller, that the Red Cross had only two million dollars to spend on wildfire relief efforts this year, compared to over 160-million last year.

Nemrava says the 2017 allocation included money for some long-term initiatives.
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[PHOTO:  Kimberley Nemrava, Canadian Red Cross BC & Yukon Vice President]

"Because it was recognized that recovery was going to take several years, the government asked us to not only do relief assistance, not only do recovery assistance but also include some disaster risk reduction initiatives, so we have initiatives from the 2017 wildfires that will work to help people prepare better for future wildfires," she explained.

Nemrava says with this year's funds, the Red Cross is focusing on providing re-entry assistance to people forced to evacuate their homes this summer, on a family-by-family basis. 

She says she's seen first hand the impacts of wildfires on people's lives, and the Red Cross is doing everything it can to help people deal with their losses.

Miller had also complained that only about 70 million of last year's 262 million dollar fund had actually been allocated, but Nemrava says that figure was as of the annual report, which came out in March -- and since then, about 119 million has been spent or committed.

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[PHOTO:  Island Lake Wildfire -- August 2018]

 

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