A monstrous wildfire has forced 80,000 residents to flee Fort McMurray, Alta. Several have lost their homes and belongings to the fire, while others even left behind their pets as they escaped under a mandatory evacuation order.
Here are some of the ways to help those affected:
Donate money online:
- The Red Cross has started an emergency appeal for help. To donate $5 by phone, text REDCROSS to 30333. Both the federal and provincial governments will match donations to the Red Cross.
- The Wood Buffalo Food Bank is accepting donations through PayPal on its website.
- The Salvation Army is also collecting financial donations online.
- Airbnb has activated its Disaster Response Tool to help provide free shelter until May 21. Residents in nearby areas can list their properties on the website.
- Those able to provide accommodations can also sign up on website YMMfire.ca.
An Alberta woman packs care packages for evacuees of the wildfires in and around Fort McMurray, Alta., May 4, 2016. (Photo: Codie McLachlan/CP)
- The Fort McMurray SPCA is working to reunite displaced residents with pets they were forced to leave behind. They are accepting donations to help efforts.
- The Edmonton Humane Society is preparing to accept animals left without owners, and provide temporary shelter to pets with owners who have left their homes.
Social media efforts:
- Facebook group Fort Mac Fire Donations is crowdsourcing donations for items such as toiletries, socks and pillows, as needed.
- On Twitter, people are offering help through hashtags such as #ymmfire and #ymmhelps
With files from The Canadian Press
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