The ongoing wildfires in British Columbia have now charred a portion of the province larger than Prince Edward Island.
According to the B.C. Wildfire Service, about 900 wildfires have claimed more than 591,000 hectares of land since April 1, and the cost of fighting the fires has reached $230 million. Unfortunately, these numbers have likely grown since Equipment Journal’s deadline.
At the front lines of the province’s largest fire, which has torched more than 110,000 hectares alone, heavy equipment is being used to construct fire guards.
In an added effort to combat the wildfire’s destruction, the Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA) launched an online initiative called Here4BC (Here4BC.ca).
The initiative is designed to bring the Canadian construction industry together to support those who have been displaced, lost homes or businesses as a result of the wildfires.
The program is also designed to create awareness of the need to help those affected and to inspire the Canadian construction industry — including companies, their employees as well as associations — to donate $1 million directly to the Canadian Red Cross British Columbia Fires Appeal by Aug. 31.
“Associations in the Canadian construction industry play a vital part in motivating and mobilizing their members to support causes like the Canadian Red Cross British Columbia Fires Appeal,” said VRCA President, Fiona Famulak. “We’re asking fellow associations across the owner, consultant and contracting communities — residential and non-residential, open and closed-shop — to join the effort to help British Columbians in need.”
So far, support isn’t contained to the province affected by the wildfires. Construction-related companies from British Columbia to Ontario have made donations, ranging from $200 to $20,000, towards the cause. To date, the initiative has raised about $125,000.
Alongside financial support, the VRCA is also encouraging donations of equipment, portable buildings, emergency supplies, building supplies, tools and transportation services.
If a financial or equipment donation isn’t feasible, the VRCA is requesting support in the form of awareness, via social media posts or website banners linking to Here4BC.ca. The association has created several predesigned website banners, which are available on the initiative’s website.
Here4BC was created to unite Canada’s constriction industry. With so many available options for supporting the initiative, there’s no reason it shouldn’t achieve that aspect of its mandate.