You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Red Cross Responds to Colorado Wildfires

Volunteers Deployed to Wildfire
Fire danger is extremely high in Colorado. The Red Cross urges people to be prepared.

The American Red Cross has helped thousands of residents affected by recent wildfires and flash-flooding this summer.

  • Since the wildfires began on June 11, the Red Cross and its partners have:
  • Opened and operated a total of 11 separate shelters in Monument, Colorado Springs, Kiowa, Cañon City, Walsenburg, Rifle, Del Norte and Gunnison.
  • Distributed more than 40,000 bulk items such as shovels, rakes, face masks, clean-up kits and gloves
  • Served more than 66,000 meals and snacks provided by community partners such as the Salvation Army and the Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado
  • Made more than 4,500 health and mental health contacts with affected residents
  • Registered 470 individuals in Safe and Well
  • Distributed 2,200 comfort kits containing hygiene items, toothbrushes and other basic essentials
  • Wildfires often increase the risk for flash-flooding in burn-affected areas. Even as the Red Cross continues to help residents affected by the wildfires with their path to recovery, we are also remaining vigilant and ready to respond quickly to provide safe shelter for those evacuating due to flooding.

  • Pikes Peak Red Cross shelter teams have already opened emergency evacuation sites on two separate occasions for residents fleeing flooding in the Waldo Canyon burn area.
  • In burn areas throughout the state, we have resources strategically cached, and Red Cross shelter teams remain on standby and ready to open shelters throughout the upcoming weeks and months ahead.
  • Local Red Cross chapters will continue to assist communities affected by these disasters through long-term recovery, and will work with them to help them be prepared for and more resilient in the face of future wildfires and floods.

  • Local Red Cross staff are participating in multi-agency long-term recovery groups that collaborate to plan for and help meet the ongoing needs of residents affected by these disasters.
  • Residents affected by the wildfires can contact their local Red Cross chapter to meet with caseworkers who will help walk them through the recovery process.
  • Our job is never over: even as we work with people to help them recover, our preparedness teams are investing in helping individuals, neighborhoods, businesses and organizations get better prepared for disasters so that they can be more resilient when the next disaster strikes.
  • Flooding in burn areas is often flash flooding, which means it water arrives quickly and with little warning. People living in or visiting areas affected by 2012 or 2013 wildfires are encouraged to take the following precautions:

  • Listen to weather radio and pay close attention to flash flood watches and warnings.
  • Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
  • If a flash flood warning is in effect, get to higher ground and stay there. Do NOT drive in gulleys and low-lying areas near water.
  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
  • If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
  • Because standard homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more flood safety tips and information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at www.FloodSmart.gov.
  • The Red Cross provides disaster relief to people completely free of charge, and is able to do so through the hard work of volunteers and the generosity of the public.

  • Your donations enable the Red Cross to help people in a range of ways. This includes shelter and food to people who had lost everything; relief items like cleaning supplies, hygiene kits and face masks; and comfort and support to people in the community.
  • You can support Red Cross disaster relief by donating online at redcross.org/Colorado, by calling 1-800-REDCROSS, or by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation via your cell phone bill.
  • Fire danger is extremely high in Colorado. The Red Cross urges people to be prepared.

  • Download the free Red Cross Wildfire App, available in English or Spanish. The app provides instant access to steps people should take before, during and after wildfires.
  • You can also find advice on how to make an emergency plan and what you need in your go-kit by visiting redcross.org/prepare.
  • If a fire is threatening your neighborhood, listen to local media for updated fire information and be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
  • Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape.
  • Confine your pets to one room so you can find them if you need to leave quickly..
  • More information on wildfire safety is available on the preparedness section of www.redcross.org.
  • Related