We pray for safety and for fire-quenching rain.

A water bomber plane flies through heavy smoke over a suburban community outside Halifax
A water bomber plane flies through heavy smoke as an out-of-control wildfire in a suburban community outside of Halifax quickly spread, May 28, 2023
Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese
Published On: June 2, 2023

The United Church of Canada is deeply concerned about the wildfires raging across our nation. Currently, wildfires are now spreading through Nova Scotia, Quebec, and northern Ontario only weeks after serious wildfires in Alberta and British Columbia have subsided. It worsens every year.

We are caretakers of this planet. Some of these fires were started by humans; it is imperative for us to look after the earth and our neighbours, since careless actions can have devastating impacts. We also strengthen our insistence that governments, industries, and natural resource extraction companies need to do more to combat the climate crisis since the scale and intensity of the fires is worsened by this global crisis.

These fires threaten entire communities. We commend the efforts of firefighters and first responders in each of these locations, and are grateful for them, for the pilots, and for the emergency personnel who have come from far away to fight the fires and help with evacuations and medical care.

We recognize that while Indigenous communities have used controlled fires in cultural and land management for generations, they are at the mercy of these uncontrolled fires. Lack of funding and support, and limited resources, limit their ability to prepare and plan for emergencies such as these.

We commend the courage of parents, residents, volunteers, and municipal workers who do what it takes to protect their community: their neighbours, families, pets, and properties. On days when it seems like the world is burning up, when wildfires threaten to consume the land, the forests, and everything we own, we rely on the strength of our communities to see us through.

We acknowledge the anxiety. The fear. The uncertainty. The sense of loss. The grief that comes with loss; it is deep, pervasive, and unfathomable. We pray for families who are displaced by fire or threat of fire. We pray for peace of mind to return in its time. We pray for safety and for fire-quenching rain.

We pray that the destruction of these fires will bring, in time, new life—renewed life.

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Climate Change
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