Some Salmon Arm residents collecting food for wildfire crews | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Some Salmon Arm residents collecting food for wildfire crews

FILE PHOTO - A helicopter with the ability to pump water out of a water body is seen flying to a wildfire in this undated file photo.
July 21, 2021 - 1:22 PM

Salmon Arm residents are rallying to support wildfire firefighters with food.

Jane Pugh, whose son is a wildfire firefighter, along with two other Salmon Arm residents are organizing a donation drop-off this afternoon, July 21, as a way to thank them for their efforts. 

”I saw on Facebook that people wanted to support the firefighters here… and the outcome is just like wow,” she said.

The post has already gathered more than 100 reactions and nearly 100 comments since it was posted from people offering their support with donations.

Pugh started a Facebook thread saying the donations collected will be given to the rapattack crews in Salmon Arm. Rapattack crews often rappel from helicopters into areas that can't be accessed on foot or in a vehicle, and don't have a suitable helicopter landing zone.

She originally thought people would donate some baked goods and veggies but its snowballed.

“We’ve supported the frontline workers, the nurses the doctors… well I thought, these guys need support too,” Pugh said.

“They’re working so darn hard this year… these guys are heroes, they are amazing and you want to show appreciation and this is a good way to show it.”

B.C. Wildfire Service fire information officer Taylor MacDonald said they is grateful the community is offering food donations “but at this time, it’s important those donations go to people in need, like the evacuees so those are the things that we recommend people bring to the Emergency Operations Centre.”

Wildfire firefighters are supplied with meals when they’re away from base.

“It does depend on how long they’re deployed away for. They do have dried food rations in their bags for when they are deployed and when they are expected to be deployed for 48 hours but when they’re back on base (they’re expected to supply their own meals),” MacDonald said.

It depends on how far away they are and if they’re travelling home at the end of the day or if they’re expected to camp out at a fire, Pugh said.

Pugh said it was the public’s decision to donate to the firefighters.

“They could have already donated to evacuees, so I’m just going to leave it as is and see what happens in the future,” she said.

Pugh will be at the Askew's Foods parking lot at 2701 11 Ave. NE in Salmon Arm collecting donations until 2 p.m.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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