Sicamous residents gathered on July 23 to make signs thanking firefighters and first responders. The signs were then put up along Highway 97A where firefighters and first responders would see them. (Facebook)

Sicamous residents gathered on July 23 to make signs thanking firefighters and first responders. The signs were then put up along Highway 97A where firefighters and first responders would see them. (Facebook)

Column: Sicamous community stands strong in face of Two Mile Wildfire

The Roman Report by Zachary Roman

A Sicamous resident recently told me something that made me think.

“In a crisis, some people panic. Others, they just want to help.”

Since the Two Mile Road wildfire started from an unfortunate accident on July 20, I’ve seen no panic in Sicamous.

But I have seen an incredible amount of help.

Sicamous’ own brave firefighters were there from the beginning, fighting the blaze, protecting the structures of evacuated residents; giving it their all to protect the community.

The volunteers at the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 106 kept the lake clear for the talented BC Wildfire Service pilots bucketing and water bombing the fire.

The folks at the Eagle Valley Senior Citizens Housing Society arranged an evacuation of residents at the Lodge and Manor, keeping everyone safe and updated. Then, they donated their remaining perishable food items to another good cause: the folks at the Husky House Restaurant, who were providing free meals to firefighters and evacuees.

The Senior’s Drop-In Centre was transformed into a place where evacuees could register and receive help and guidance.

On Facebook, I saw countless posts from people offering evacuees a place to stay or park an RV. I saw people offering home-cooked meals and people offering crates for evacuating pets.

Something I saw online that particularly moved me was four young girls selling lemonade and donating the money they made to the BC Wildfire Recovery Fund. For firefighters and first responders though, the lemonade was free.

The girls raised $340, and local food truck Snacktastic said they would match the donation and give the girls a free breakfast or lunch.

As I write this column, the morning of July 23, the Two Mile Road wildfire is still 1,000 hectares in size and crews continue to do their best to control the blaze and keep it from reaching any structures.

I normally don’t like rain because it gets in the way of my favourite hobbies. I’m also just the kind of person who’s happier when the sun is shining. However, right now, I’d love nothing more than a torrential downpour.

I can only hope that by the time this newspaper hits stands on July 29, the fire will be held.

For previous stories, Sicamous residents have told me they’re not surprised at the lengths people go to help each other out around here — and now that I’ve been around for a little while, I’m not either.

Column