Weather Increases Fire Threat Out West

Disaster Response
Shelters are open and emergency response vehicles are traveling through previously evacuated neighborhoods, distributing water and clean-up supplies such as shovels, buckets, and gloves.

Wildfires continue to burn in Arizona, Idaho, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Montana and weather experts say the fire threat will be worse over the next few days due to gusty winds and dry conditions.

Firefighters should have some of the fires fully contained in the coming days, but officials report some may not be fully contained until October. Almost 80 people spent Monday night in American Red Cross shelters in California, Idaho and Washington where disaster workers are providing shelter, meals, mental health support and clean-up supplies to those affected.

The Red Cross has already provided almost 200 overnight stays and more than 2,300 meals and snacks near Seattle, Washington, where the Taylor Bridge Fire is burning. Shelters are open and emergency response vehicles are traveling through previously evacuated neighborhoods, distributing water and clean-up supplies such as shovels, buckets, and gloves.

In northeastern California, the Red Cross has shelters open and is partnering with the Salvation Army to provide meals for displaced residents. The Red Cross Safe and Well program is also available for people to let their loved ones know how and where they are.

The Red Cross continues to operate shelters for overnight stays and is partnering with the Southern Baptist Conference, Pine Senior Center and Pine Resort to operate a welcome center near Pine, Idaho, to provide food and drinks for evacuees and first responders. The center is also a clearinghouse where those affected can keep informed about the fire situation.

RETURNING HOME The Red Cross offers the following steps people should take to remain safe as evacuation orders are lifted and people begin to return to their neighborhoods:

  • Do not enter your home until fire officials say it is safe to do so.
  • Avoid damaged or fallen power lines.
  • Keep your animals under control – hidden embers and hot spots could burn their paws or hooves.
  • Wear leather gloves and heavy-soled shoes to protect hands and feet.
  • Discard any food that has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot.
  • Do not use water that may be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands or make ice or baby formula.
  • More information on what to do before, during and after a wildfire is available in the Preparedness section of the Red Cross web site.

    HOW YOU CAN HELP Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation today.

    Tags: Wildfire.
    About the American Red Cross:
    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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