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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Province, federal government matching donations to Red Cross for B.C. wildfire relief

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VANCOUVER — The provincial and federal governments announced Sunday that they will be matching all donations made to the Canadian Red Cross for B.C. wildfire relief.

The matching funds – up to $20 million from each level of government – will apply to all donations made since July 3, when the Red Cross began appealing for funds to help those affected by wildfires in the province.

As of Sunday afternoon, there were more than 300 wildfires burning in the province, according to the BC Wildfire Service’s interactive dashboard.

Of those, 57 had been sparked over the last 48 hours, and the situation could worsen in the coming days with more hot weather in the forecast for B.C.’s Interior. 

In a news release announcing the matching funds, B.C. Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Katrine Conroy said the Red Cross provides “critical help” in dealing with wildfires in the province.

“We know people in B.C. and across the country are concerned for those affected by the many current wildfires in our province and the threat of more, and want to find a way to help communities recover,” Conroy said in the release. “Donating to the Red Cross is a great way to help.”

To be counted in the matching program, donations must be made specifically to the Canadian Red Cross British Columbia Fires Appeal fund.

Donations can be made through the Red Cross directly, as well as in-person at BC Liquor Stores and BC Cannabis Stores.

The B.C. government’s matching program will continue until Dec. 31.

“This is an incredibly challenging time for individuals and families facing tremendous loss in the Lytton area, as well as communities across the province that are facing the possibility of devastating wildfire impacts this summer,” said Pat Quealey, vice president for B.C. and Yukon for the Canadian Red Cross, in the release. 

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