Lakecity residents, may of whom understand what it’s like to be evacuated due to wildfires, responded generously when the call came out to gather donations for the community of Lytton, which was destroyed by fire June 30.
Since Friday July 2, donations were dropped off at 315 Yorston Street at the Williams Lake First Nation downtown office and at the Cariboo Chilcotin Metis Association at 83 Oliver Street.
Marlene Swears of the Cariboo Chilcotin Metis Association said she wants the community to be that one that gives this year during the wildfire season and will continue to accept donations for those in need.
“I was in that situation and had to leave my home in Wildwood during our fires in 2017,” she told the Tribune.
“I didn’t have anything and it was hard. I know you don’t want to depend on anybody when you have nothing, but you have to.”
Included on the list initially needed items were socks, towels, fresh fruit and veggies, children’s activities, brushes, towels, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, pillows, etc.
Swears said those donations did go out, along with much-needed gift cards which were accepted in Merritt for the Lytton evacuees.
She noted the association will continue to collect items for their free store, where those in need may find diapers, dog food and toiletries.
Anyone wanting to donate to wildfire victims, the items most needed right now include gas cards, gift cards, tents and generators as well as bottled water.
“There’s been a lot of coming together. A lot of camaraderie,” Swears noted.
The number at the Cariboo Chilcotin Metis Association is 250-392-4428.
In conversation with the Tribune July 1, Mayor Walt Cobb said seeing the community of Lytton destroyed by fire made him feel “sick.”
“Memories (of the 2017 wildfires) came back and I just thought ‘oh my God,” Cobb said, noting the Lytton fire prompted him to check with city staff to ensure the city is as prepared as possible for wildfires this year.
“I don’t want to go through that again. Everyone’s on edge, that’s for sure.”