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Some B.C. wildfire evacuees still waiting on Red Cross financial support

File photo. Some wildfire evacuees are still waiting on support money from the Red Cross. Janet Brown / CKNW

Melissa Fortin said she immediately registered with the Red Cross for support after she fled 103 Mile House with her family and children on July 7.

But she’s still waiting on it — not unlike a number of people affected by B.C.’s wildfires.

“I have been following up every single day, about twice a day,” she said.

“We’re the first group to be evacuated, you would expect they would have given something to us by now.”

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Fortin is currently staying with Family in Lac La Hache.

“I am very frustrated. Me and my husband both aren’t working in the moment, so having two children to support and we still have bills,” she said.

Red Cross staff have said they couldn’t find her in the system, according to her. Or it tried to send a payment but it went to the wrong e-mail.

Then, once she’d given them the correct one, she still didn’t receive any money.

READ MORE: B.C. wildfires map 2017: Current location of wildfires around the province

Meanwhile, Williams Lake resident Brenda Carter said her mother Sharon has been waiting on Red Cross support for a week.

“She’s called two separate times and they keep telling her to call back in three more days,” Carter said. “So she called again and they told her to check again in another three days.”

The government is helping evacuees with a $600 payment, which has been extended for two weeks.

READ MORE: Mounties helping B.C. livestock displaced by fires

For its part, the Red Cross said it’s aware of delays.

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“Part of our role, and jobs and our duty is to make sure that we are getting dollars into the hands of people that have been evacuated, and the right people are getting the funds,” said emergency operations manager Lise Anne Pierce.

“And that process takes a bit of time as we work with local authorities around where the evacuation orders and alerts are, and making sure that we’ve got everything lined up.

“We’re working really hard to get those funds out. Every day we’re getting more and more of those trickier cases, whether it be spelling mistakes or other things sorted out.”

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