A helicopter drops water on a wildfire west of High Level in May 2019. Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta
Yellowknife’s Det’on Cho Logistics and Summit Air are preparing to fly a shipment of critically needed donations to evacuees from the High Level wildfire, a company executive said.
Det’on Cho Logistics’ Stu Impett called for Yellowknife residents to donate certain key items (a list is below – see ‘How to help’) on Monday.
The items will then be flown to Fort Vermilion, near High Level, where a centre for evacuees is said to be running low on supplies.
“Summit Air will be flying all donations to Fort Vermilion as soon as we have enough to fill the aircraft,” said Impett, listed as Det’on Cho Logistics’ vice-president of operations, in a post to Facebook on Sunday.
“Let’s help our neighbours to the south,” he wrote. “We are not strangers to fires. Let’s fill the airplane fast so we can get the supplies moving.”
High Level residents have spent almost a week under an evacuation order.
On Sunday, local authorities in northern Alberta said a shift in the wind had increased the likelihood of a nearby wildfire moving toward the town.
The eastern edge of the wildfire, which is considered out of control, is currently around three kilometres southwest of the town.
“We will see increased chance of fire spread toward the community,” Alberta Wildfire incident commander Scott Elliott told reporters on Sunday.
“The preparations we’ve taken put us in a pretty good position to be able to meet the challenge and prevent as much damage as possible.”
The potential wind shift means there is no likelihood of the evacuation order being rescinded in the immediate future.
Emergency funding for evacuees, supplied by the Alberta government, is due to be made available on Monday. Evacuees will be offered a one-time payment of $1,250 per adult, or $500 per child, via bank transfer or preloaded debit card.
How to help
Impett said he had spoken to an evacuation coordinator who advised Fort Vermilion’s evacuation site was running low on certain supplies.
He asked Yellowknife residents to purchase and donate the following items by bringing them to Det’on Cho Logistics at 101 McMillan Street – a white warehouse across from Aurora Ford, near the intersection with Old Airport Road – between 10am and 6pm on Monday, May 27:
Men’s, women’s, and children’s underwear
Laundry detergent (UPDATE Monday, 1pm – more than enough received!)
Travel shaving cream
Pillows (UPDATE Monday, 1pm – more than enough received!)