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Boy Scouts of America Redwood Empire Council to Build Sifters for Valley Fire Residents

Santa Rosa, CA (September 30, 2015) – The Boy Scouts of America Packs of the Redwood Empire Council are coming together with the American Red Cross to build 4,000 sifter boxes for the residents affected by the Valley Fire. Agwood Mill and Lumber in Ukiah is generously donating all of the lumber and pre-cutting it to size. Local Coldwell Banker agents are making financials donations. Lowe’s has generously discounted the rest of the needed supplies and is providing transportation of the materials. Amy's Kitchen is kindly providing their parking lot as a space for the Boy Scouts to gather and to build.

The boy scouts will be building the sifters on the following three days at Amy’s Kitchen, 3000 Dutton Avenue, Santa Rosa:

  • Wednesday, September 30, 5:00 - 9:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 1, 5:00 - 9:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 4, 12:00 - 5:00 p.m.
  • California Department of Public Health advises residents of recently burned areas to use caution in cleaning up ash from recent wildfires. The ash from trees burned in forest fires is relatively nontoxic and similar to ash that might be found in your fireplace. However, ash from burned homes and other items will likely contain metals, chemicals, and potentially asbestos, items that can be considered toxic if breathed in or touched with wet skin. If the ash is inhaled, it can be irritating to the nose, throat and lungs and may cause coughing. Exposure to airborne ash may trigger asthmatic attacks in people who already have asthma. People should seek medical care if they experience health issues such as chest pain, chest tightness or shortness of breath. In order to avoid possible health problems, the following steps are recommended:

  • Do not allow children to play in the ash. Wash ash off toys before children play with them. Clean ash off pets.
  • Wear a mask, gloves, long sleeved shirts and long pants and avoid skin contact. Ash may be irritating to the skin, especially to those with sensitive skin.
  • If you do get ash on your skin, wash it off as soon as possible. Some wet ash can cause chemical burns.
  • If you have a vegetable garden or fruit trees, wash the fruits or vegetables before eating them.
  • Avoid getting ash into the air as much as possible. Do not use leaf blowers or take other actions that will put ash into the air.
  • Shop vacuums and other common vacuum cleaners do not filter out small particles. They blow such particles out the exhaust into the air where they can be inhaled.
  • The use of shop vacuums and other non-HEPA filter vacuums is not recommended. HEPA filter vacuums could be used, if available.
  • The Valley Fire is currently the third largest in California state history, covering more than 76,000 acres and destroying nearly 2,000 structures, including more than 1,200 homes. On Tuesday night, nearly 200 people found a safe place to sleep and break from the heat and smoke in Red Cross and independent community shelters in California. The Salvation Army, Southern Baptist, Red Cross and many community groups are distributing food and relief supplies to support people as they return home. The difficult recovery from these fires makes this a frustrating and emotionally draining time for everyone involved. Community and Red Cross mental health volunteers are available to help. Red Cross caseworkers are meeting one-on-one with people to create recovery plans, navigate paperwork and locate help from numerous partner agencies.

    California Wildfires Response by the Numbers:

  • over 100,000 meals and snacks served by Salvation Army, Southern Baptist, community groups, local restaurants and the Red Cross
  • over 44,000 relief items water, snacks, non-perishable meals, and clean-up items such as gloves, buckets, trash bags, sifters, and dust masks
  • over 11,000 overnight stays in community or Red Cross shelters
  • over 7,400 health and mental health contacts
  • over 1,000 cases opened by Red Cross caseworkers to provide individualized recovery support.
  • Where To Find Assistance


    People affected by the Valley, Butte and Rough fires are encourage for register for FEMA assistance by calling 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Online registration is also available at:

    Lake County Resource Line

    For other recovery information, call the Valley Fire Resource Line at 1-888-564-2787. For the latest news and information on Lake county recovery, please visit

    Red Cross Information Hotline

    People affected by the Valley, Butte and Rough fires can also (855) 224-2490 to learn about Red Cross services available.

    Valley Fire

    The Red Cross and many community partners are working to ensure that the right resources and support are provided to those who have been affected by this disaster:

  • Shelter: Twin Pine Casino, 22223 CA-29, Middletown
  • Lake County Local Assistance Center: Middletown Senior Center, 21256 Washington St., Middletown (daily, 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.)
  • Red Cross Client Assistance Center: Middletown Community Methodist Church, 15833 Armstrong St., Middletown (daily, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.)
  • Butte Fire

    The Red Cross and many community partners are working to ensure that the right resources and support are provided to those who have been affected by this disaster:

  • Shelter: Jenny Lind Veterans Hall, 189 Pine Street, Valley Springs
  • Calaveras Local Assistance Center: Calaveras County Government Center, 891 Mountain Ranch Road, San Andreas