The American Red Cross is working around the clock to help people impacted by wildfires in eastern Washington. The Gray Fire near the city of Medical Lake and Oregon Road Fire near the community of Elk, WA have forced thousands to evacuate from their homes.
Our teams are on the ground to provide shelter, food and critical relief supplies to those impacted by these wildfires. When it is safe to do so, Red Cross teams will help with damage assessment and begin distributing relief supplies. Our hearts are with these families. We know that this is a difficult time as many families await news about whether or not they will have a home to return to.
The Gray and Oregon Road fires have already destroyed more than 20,000 acres and continue to burn. Early reports indicate several structures in the surrounding areas, including some homes, have been lost as a result.
During this difficult time, we urge residents not to return home until officials say it is safe to do so. We encourage safety and being out of harm’s way above all.
RED CROSS RESPONSE The Red Cross is working closely with local Emergency Management and government officials as we respond to the evolving needs of impacted communities. Two Red Cross shelters are currently open at the following locations:
- Spokane Falls Community College
3410 W Whistalks Way Spokane, WA
- Riverside High School
4120 E Deer Park Milan Road Chattaroy, WA
Since shelters were opened for this disaster, the Red Cross and our partners have provided more than 780 overnight stays and more than 300 meals and snacks for evacuees. Anyone who has been affected by the recent fires is welcome to stop by a shelter to get a hot meal and access other resources. Showers are available at each shelter site.
To find a shelter near you call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or download the free Red Cross Emergency app by texting “GETEMERGENCY” to 90999.
People in and around the Spokane community want to help and we are grateful for the outpouring of support we have seen from this community. We have had more than 175 people raise their hands to help take on volunteer roles. If volunteering is something that individuals are interested in, they can now go to redcross.org/volunteertoday and look for available shifts in the area.
HOW TO HELP You can help people affected by disasters like fires and countless other crises by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767), or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
DONATION OF ITEMS We know that people are generous and want to do everything they can to help after a disaster. Our first priority is to provide shelter and support to those affected — and financial donations are the quickest and best way to help those who need it most.
The Red Cross will not accept donations of clothing or household items, as these types of donations divert resources away from our mission — whereas financial donations can be used right away to directly help those affected.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN RED CROSS NORTHWEST REGION On average, the American Red Cross, Northwest Region responds to an emergency every 6 hours. All Red Cross disaster assistance is free of charge. For more information about the Red Cross, visit redcross.org, follow us on Twitter @RedCrossNW or Facebook.