Gareth Manderson, general manager BC Works, and Bandstra’s Zach Runions and Steve Collins. Photo supplied

Rio Tinto donates $120,000 to wildfire relief

Rio Tinto will donate $100,000 to Burns Lake and District Community Foundation, a non-profit group leading emergency relief effort in Burns Lake and Lakes District communities in Northwest B.C.

Rio Tinto has also contributed $20,000 to the fire relief efforts of the Cheslatta Carrier First Nation to support its response to the wildfire emergencies.

“We are making these donations on behalf of our employees to support the many people affected by the wildfires across B.C.,” said Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios.

“Rio Tinto’s Kitimat aluminium smelter and hydroelectricity facilities have been a part of northern B.C. communities for more than 60 years. We wanted to provide support to local organizations that are on the front line supporting those people impacted by the wildfires,” added Barrios.

Regional District Bulkley Nechako chair Bill Miller said the wildfires constitute a stressful and challenging time for the region.

“We appreciate Rio Tinto’s response to our call to help. Our community’s resilience will get us through this disaster and with Rio Tinto’s support, it will assist us through our efforts in recovery,” said Miller.

The Regional District of Bulkley Nechako is one of Rio Tinto’s community partners in the Nechako watershed, which has been impacted by the wildfires.

The wildfire donations are being made through the Rio Tinto Aluminium Fund Canada, which since its creation in 2008 has invested over $10 million annually in major projects and initiatives that benefit communities around our operations.

The company also donated a truckload of clothing and other items that will be distributed to those affected by the wildfires in the Southside region near the Nechako reservoir spillway.

“A big thank you to Bandstra Transportation who provided free transport of the items to Burns Lake where they will be taken to a community distribution centre,” said a Rio Tinto spokesperson.

“Our thoughts remain with people of Southside Francois Lake during these difficult times. We are continuing to monitor the situation and remain committed to providing help where we can to the people directly affected by these fires.”

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