United for BC Wildfire Recovery Update

General Update – September 28,2017

The provincial state of emergency was lifted on September 15th in British Columbia. This is following the worst wildfire season on record with over 11,700 square kilometres of charred land and 65,000 residents evacuated in the Okanagan, Cariboo and Thompson Nicola regions. 430 structures have been lost including 220 homes. Rain and cooler weather have been a welcome sight in communities across the province.

United for BC Wildfire Recovery – Collaboration and Coordination

On September 6th, United Way attended a meeting at Emergency Management BC in Surrey alongside other community service providers who are supporting crisis response and recovery at a provincial level. This group is currently developing a standard operating procedure to guide how the formal provincial response to crisis and recovery works in collaboration with the informal response of community organizations. Going forward, the Province will be more involved in recovery and donations management having hired donations management staff and offering funding to regional districts for Community Recovery Managers.

United Way’s continue to play a part in donations management throughout affected areas and Social Recovery Task Forces have been convening to:

    1. Map out community services for crisis response to make roles and responsibilities clear
    2. Debrief with regional district and municipalities regarding crisis response
    3. Create a response plan for all community services for crisis response

United Ways, UWCC, Emergency Operation Services, Canadian Red Cross, and other local partners, continue to work closely together ensuring collaboration and coordination in the immediate disaster response and in preparation to move forward in the recovery efforts.

United for BC Wildfire Recovery – Fund

On October 4th, the “United for BC Wildfires” campaign will come to a close. Thanks to all who promoted and/or supported the United for BC Wildfire Recovery.

The allocations process for this fund will be determined at a joint meeting of all United Way CEOs / EDs across BC on November 14th and 15th in Kamloops.  These donations will help rebuild the strength and resilience of the communities affected by wildfires with funds supporting both short-term recovery and long-term rebuilding.

United for BC Wildfire Recovery has raised over $120,000 to date.


bc211 continues to be an important resource highlighting BC Wildfire information  http://www.bc211.ca/. Representatives from bc211, United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo and United Way of Great Victoria presented a case for the talk and text components of bc211 being expanded throughout the province, using the recent wildfire disaster as an example of how connection to services are vital through crisis and recovery.

Canadian Red Cross

The Canadian Red Cross and Province of BC.still have the following funding opportunities for those in need:

B.C. Fires: Support for Small Business  Eligible applicants for this emergency grant program include small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and First Nations businesses and cultural livelihoods on reserve. www.redcross.ca/bcfires/smallbusiness

B.C. Fires: Community Partnerships Program  Designed to support community driven efforts for recovery and resiliency in five areas, CRC is prioritizing applications that support Emergency Relief at this time. www.redcross.ca/communitypartnershipsBC

Applications are welcomed from community organizations located in Canada with programming in affected communities including:

  • Registered charities
  • Not-for-profit organizations
  • Municipalities
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Schools and school boards
  • Indigenous organizations
  • Faith-based organizations