Australian Belinda Kelson says part of her wishes she was home, but the other part is happy to be safe in Banff.
Her sister has been fighting fires in Kinglake West, Victoria, a small community that is one of the areas worst-hit by the Australia wildfires. Kelson said at least 39 people have died in the community, and three of her friends have lost their homes.
“People there can’t even read the news without crying,” Kelson said. “I’m still deciding whether or not to go home to be there with them, but my parents are telling me not to, that everything is fine.”
Her sister worked as a volunteer firefighter when the blazes began Saturday, but was taken to hospital for eye problems after her sunglasses melted onto her face during a rescue mission with four other firefighters.
“They were on their way back when the winds changed. They put out a mayday call because they thought they weren’t going to make it out. At that time, my parents got a call from the fire station that a mayday call had been made and they all went to the station to wait.
“Somehow, they got back out into the open road and made it back safely.”