We want to send a special shoutout and a sincere thank-you to all the dedicated first responders, firefighters and emergency officials who are working so hard to protect us from wildfires emerging or threatening in many parts of B.C.

As we’ve seen in recent days in Lytton and Kamloops, wildfires can strike suddenly and without warning, leaving devastating results. Those who quickly and heroically put themselves in harm’s way to protect people and property deserve our deepest gratitude.

We also want to acknowledge all the road maintenance crews in affected areas who are working tirelessly by providing crucial support services and assistance to residents and emergency services. Yellowhead Road & Bridge, which serves the Merritt and Lytton areas, deserve special recognition for the extremely hard work their crews continue to do in Lytton and nearby areas in extremely tough conditions.

Lastly, we want to thank our own Dawson Road Maintenance staff — some of whom have been displaced because of wildfire evacuation orders — who continue to come to work because they know what we do is important and protects the safety of the travelling public.

These are trying times, but it is humbling and heartening to see so many people willing to help each other out even when they face difficulty or danger themselves. By sticking together in such selfless ways, strangers become friends and neighbours become family.