In response to the devastating wildfires in Australia, the Cochrane Lions Club has made a $5,000 contribution to the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) that is providing disaster relief in the country.

LCIF has awarded $186,000 in grant funds to purchase water tanks desperately needed in areas impacted.

Additional grants are expected to be awarded in the coming weeks, says Tim Haight, a member of the local club and the Western Canada team leader for LCIF.

"Lions Clubs International is working closely with the Australian Lions to provide continued relief and support. With the destruction caused by the Fort McMurray fire still fresh in the minds of the Cochrane Lions Club, we added an extra $5,000 to the grant funds pool for future needs, so we're always thinking ahead."

He explains LCIF is multi-faceted.

"The Lions Clubs International Foundation is set up to not only do research on vision, childhood cancers and diabetes. We also have a major portion set for disaster focus," Haight explains.

The same type of assistance would be available should the Cochrane area require disaster relief, he says.

"In a sense, we're paying it forward to ensure it is there for future. Hopefully, we won't have to use it."

Through the Bow RiversEdge Campground Society, the local Lions and Rotary clubs combined to contribute $50,000 in aid for the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire. The Lions portion was contributed through LCIF.