Darlene Nukik doesn’t want to look at any photos of the fires in the Northwest Territories, knowing her mother and stepfather are caught in an extreme situation – but she has to look to see the updates, and she’s been raising all the money she can to get them out of Yellowknife and bring them back to Baker Lake.
Marjorie Sibbald, originally from Baker Lake, and common-law partner Frank Landry had been living in Fort Smith for years before this summer’s fire upended all of that.
The two – 67 and 69 – were forced to evacuate Aug. 12 and left to Hay River by bus. Once they made it there, Sibbald had to be hospitalized due to coughing and high blood pressure, but thankfully she was discharged the next day to the community centre.
Their journey didn’t end there, as the two were then evacuated from Hay River and flown to Yellowknife Aug. 14, where they are now waiting on pins and needles for what comes next.
“Because they had nowhere to stay, a lot of us had to find and ask people if they can stay at their place,” said Nukik about the challenges to find lodging when her parents were evacuated to Yellowknife.
Eventually, they were put in a hotel and have until the 21st to stay there. Now family in Baker Lake have been fundraising to get them home as soon as possible.
“Hurts knowing they are way out there breathing in all that,” said Nukik.
She’s reaching out to any organizations she can for financial support to get them away from the wildfires.
“I have been worried and scared for them,” said Nukik. “I try not to see pictures but I need to know updates as well.”
Her family frantically fundraised to cover the airfare from Yellowknife to Rankin Inlet, and thankfully they also collected enough points to bring them from Rankin Inlet to Baker Lake.
“A lot of sleepless nights,” said Nukik, who hopes everyone who has evacuated has places to stay.
Her parents are due to fly to Rankin on Friday.