Wildfire Update (23 08 19)

Updated: Saturday 7:00PM August 19th 2023

An out-of-control wildfire is threatening the Sorrento Centre and our natural farm. We evacuated our beloved Centre on Friday evening – all guests, including a family evacuated from the North Shuswap, plus many of our staff team found refuge in nearby Blind Bay and Salmon Arm. Other staff sheltered in place at their homes in the Shuswap.

With everyone safe and sound, we awoke Saturday to the news that the fire continues to press from the south and west. The red on the attached map, which was released by BC Wildfire Service, shows the fire at around 11 am. The two purple dots are our Centre and farm. By early afternoon, the evacuation orders were expanded around Sorrento, and other nearby communities were put on alert. The TransCanada Highway between our Centre and Chase has been closed due to fires.

BC Wildfire crews are offering a full response. It has been stunning to see the fire jump more than 25k in less than two days. We were able to visit our main campus and farm Saturday morning. Our buildings are secure. There has been no power since Friday, and tens of thousands of dollars in frozen and chilled foods are at risk. They were stored in preparation for music events that were to start on Sunday. They have, sadly, been cancelled.

It is a challenging time for our beloved Centre. We are grateful that our guests, staff and neighbours are safe for now. We are thankful for BC Wildfire firefighters doing their best. The many messages of love and support from our friends near and far lift our hearts.

Please hold all of us, and this most beautiful of places that is torn by wildfire and smoke, in your thoughts and in your prayers.

Here are some words from the Prayer for Courage from our friends at Corrymeela, the longest-serving centre for reconciliation in the north of Ireland:

Courage comes from the heart
and we are always welcomed by God, the Heart of all being.
We bear witness to our faith,
knowing that we are called to live lives of courage,
love and reconciliation in the ordinary and
extraordinary moments of each day.
We bear witness, too, to our failures and
our complicity in the fractures of our world.
May we be courageous today.
May we learn today.
May we love today.

Prayer for Courage from Corrymeela

We will continue to post updates.

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