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Posted: September 24, 2017

A sincere thank you to Cranbrook

Letter to the Editor

On behalf of many evacuees who would share our sentiment, we would like to express a sincere thank you to the community of Cranbrook.  In light of the recent wildfires in this area, Cranbrook should be very proud of the enormous amount of kindness and generosity demonstrated during the evacuation of hundreds of people.

As evacuees, we found the offers of support from family, friends and businesses overwhelming. In addition, the unprecedented support from other organizations and groups was simply amazing.

The Emergency Evacuee centre at the curling rink had ongoing volunteer support putting in long hours. These individuals were often the first ones to meet with evacuees and reassure them they would be looked after. Thank you for providing “peace of mind” to so many.

The Red Cross was easily accessible with phone lines and volunteers to provide any information and assistance evacuees needed. They were there from start to the finish ensuring everyone was looked after right up to re-entry of their homes.  When you donate… please remember the Red Cross.

The Canadian Disaster Animal Rescue Team (CDART) also demonstrated a sincere dedication to the wellbeing of family pets by tailoring their needs to each individual furry family member.

People working behind the scenes and acting as liaison with fire officials kept us informed with frequent updates (RDEK).  Sometimes they weren’t able to give us the answers we wanted to hear, but were always available doing their best to provide us with the most updated information.  This reduced some of the helplessness and anxiety many evacuees experienced.

The group of individuals who were responsible for structural protection to Green Bay and Monroe Lake worked tirelessly to get sprinklers on all our homes. You provided the protection that would safe guard our homes to ensure the best chance that we would have homes to return to.

The firefighters on the ground and in the air as well as operators of heavy equipment (many of whom were local) can’t be thanked enough for the long strenuous and dangerous work they did battling such challenging wildfires. In the eyes of so many you are true heroes!

A personal thank you to the Best Western hotel manager Crystal Scott who made immediate policy changes in regards to keeping owners together with their pets at such a chaotic and traumatic time.  Crystal also juggled rooms to ensure we weren’t uprooted from one hotel room to another in order to maintain some kind of normal in our lives.  The staff and management at the Best Western made every effort to make our stay as comfortable and accommodating as possible.

We know there are many others who were involved in so many selfless acts of kindness therefore it would be hard to mention them all.  You know who you are and just know, the people you reached out to will forever be grateful!

Cranbrook is an example of an outstanding community that demonstrated compassion, support and organized action to the highest level at a very critical time to so many people!

Thank you.

The Botterill family,

Monroe Lake

Lead image: A water bomber hits the Lamb Creek wildfire earlier this summer. Monroe Lake resident Linda Botterill captured numerous captivating and action-packed images during the crisis which led to an evacuation from their home.

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