Resources to support wildfire evacuees | 2023 wildfires

August 22, 2023
'Like 100 years of firefighting in one night' a firefighter described battling the wildfires in BC.
Forest on fire

The compounding climate disasters we’re experiencing this summer in nearly every corner of the globe are a stark reminder that people pay the price for the fossil fuel industry’s greed. 

Just this past week in August, raging fires have forced over 55,000 people to evacuate in the Northwest Territories and B.C, a destructive hurricane hit Mexico and Southern California for the first time in 84 years, and hundreds of people lost their lives from a devastating wildfire in Maui. Millions more people across the continent have spent too much of their summer choking on smoky skies under extreme air quality warnings. The climate crisis has undeniably arrived on our doorsteps. 

At the same time, we continue to be inspired by incredible stories of communities coming together to support one another by opening their doors, donating to support evacuees, or sharing emergency supplies. And we’ve seen so many folks in the community continuing to call out the fossil fuel, forestry and financial industries for their role in worsening these crises and continuing to hold our governments accountable. Thank you all for reminding us what advocacy grounded in community care looks like.

That reminder is critical as we face the challenges that are here now, as well as the ones that lie ahead. That’s why we are sharing these links to donate to mutual aid networks and other ways to support folks in Canada and Hawaii. 

Donate to Mutual Aid for Maui

Donate to Mutual Aid for the Northwest Territories

Donate to Mamas for Mamas Fundraiser in the Okanagan (B.C.) 

Not in a position to donate? You can:

In Canada alone, nearly 14m hectares have burnt this fire season – an area the size of Greece. 

But when a fire burns through an area, it not only destroys towns, homes, agriculture and forests – it also destroys culture. The Na ‘Aikane o Maui Research Centre that burned down in Lahaina, Maui, housed irreplaceable intergenerational wisdom, culture, and artifacts. The fires in Maui are a particularly stark reminder of how climate change, capitalism, and colonialism together have created the conditions for the unprecedented crises we’re witnessing today. As soon as the flames died down, developers started reaching out to families who lost their homes to see if they could buy their land and turn it into a luxury tourist destination. This is yet another enraging example of what it looks like to put profits before people, and of the colonialism that is continuing to push Indigenous Peoples and other local communities off of their land around the world.

And like all other climate change impacts, mega wildfires are not experienced equally. This statistic from Breach Media is brutally clear: In Canada, Indigenous people represent 42% of all wildfire-related evacuations, while accounting for only 5% of the general population. 

We’ll be honest with you – footage of the glow of the red flames as unimaginably huge fires consumed acres of land and destroyed people’s homes, makes us scared for the years to come. But we felt an even deeper sense of purpose and passion for the work that we’re all doing to end fossil fuels, protect forests, and push for policies that will ensure a just transition to a renewable energy economy. 

In times like these, it is critical to remember that even small shifts in the future will have massive impacts – each tenth of a degree of additional warming avoided can result in 140 million fewer displaced people.

We truly believe that being rooted in community and working in solidarity across different movements is key to how we will achieve big change, go up against greedy corporations, and hold politicians to account. Hope is a deep well we can and must draw upon as we go forward together – because we are only as powerful as we believe ourselves to be.

Thank you for everything you do for your community and the planet. Please hold your loved ones close and take time to take care of yourself.

With love and care,

The team