Pinnacle Renewable Energy, a part of the Drax Group, is donating $50,000 to the Canadian Red Cross to support small communities affected by wildfires in British Columbia.
The media statement announcing the commitment to support communities in which it operates was issued just two days after a July 13 elevator shaft fire in the Prince Rupert pellet shipping location at Westview Terminal. The local operation exports pellets through the city to Europe and Asia, however, seven of Drax’s pellet mills are located throughout the province near locations of the wildfires.
Wildfires have spread quickly throughout the province in record-breaking heatwaves of just under 50 C. Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes and have lost everything, with the village of Lytton being razed by fire.
The company issued the announcement that funds will help pay for emergency shelters, lodging for evacuees, basic needs for families such as food, clothing, emotional support to help survivors with loss and hardship.
“We believe it’s important to support the people in the areas where we operate and that’s why we’re donating $50,000 to Canada’s Red Cross to help those in British Columbia to take the first steps towards repairing their lives,” Andrea Johnston, senior vice president, and chief financial officer at Pinnacle, said.
Communications spokesperson for Pinnacle Karen Brandt told The Northern View the company is excited about the endeavour as with both the federal and provincial governments promise to match donations dollar for dollar, it will actually be a $150,000 donation.
“This is meant to be a benefit for all British Columbians for today, and for the future,” Brandt said.
“Thanks to the generosity of Canadians, Red Cross is able to support the immediate and ongoing relief and recovery efforts during this wildfire season. The donation by Pinnacle will be matched by the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia, ensuring our teams can go even further to support those impacted,” Pat Quealey, vice-president, B.C. and Yukon, Canadian Red Cross, said.
The Canadian Red Cross is working alongside First Nations and provincial, local, and governments to support individuals, families, and communities impacted by the wildfires in B.C., Pinnacle stated, as well this includes family reunification services so family and friends can ensure their loved ones are safe and well.
“This year has been hard for many people in [the province] – first the COVID-19 pandemic and now this searing heat, which combined with unprecedented dry conditions has led to a number of wildfires that have devasted the lives and homes of many people in these communities,” Johnston said.
The wildfires spread across BC followed record-breaking temperatures close to 50 C, with fire crews battling hundreds of wildfires due to prolonged heat and dry conditions which has left much of the province at risk, despite provincial fire bans until at least Oct. 9th.
To donate to the Red Cross B.C. Fire Appeal:
• online: Wildfire Donations
• phone (toll-free) 1 800 418-1111
• text FIRES to 45678
K-J Millar | Journalist
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