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Samaritan’s Purse sends 14 disaster relief specialists to B.C.

August 22, 2023
By Samaritan's Purse

Samaritan’s Purse is helping residents forced to flee for their lives from catastrophic wildfires ravaging the Northwest Territories and B.C.’s Okanagan region.

The Christian disaster relief organization has sent 14 disaster relief specialists to British Columbia, where they are working through B.C. Emergency Management and Climate Readiness to set up and operate a 400-bed evacuation facility for people in the Kelowna region.

At the request of B.C. Emergency Management and Climate Readiness, Samaritan’s Purse is setting up and operating an evacuation centre at the Capital News Centre in Kamloops for residents of that area.

In the Northwest Territories, all 20,000 residents of Yellowknife have been forced to leave their homes because of approaching wildfires. Many of them went to Alberta and Samaritan’s Purse is working with the province’s Provincial Emergency Coordination Centre to find ways to support them.


“Our hearts are breaking for residents fleeing these fires,” said Samaritan’s Purse senior program developer Keith Waara. “We are thankful to our supporters who are making it possible to help as many people as possible.”

In recent years, Samaritan’s Purse has helped victims of a wide variety of Canadian and international natural disasters including Hurricane Fiona in Prince Edward Island in 2022, a massive 2021 hailstorm in Calgary; 2018 flooding in Grand Forks, B.C., and St. John, N.B.; 2017 flooding in Vernon, B.C., and wildfires in Ashcroft and Williams Lake, B.C.; flooding in New Brunswick in 2014, 2012, 2010 and 2008; the catastrophic 2016 wildfire in Fort McMurray, AB; and flooding in Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, southern Alberta, and Nova Scotia.

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