People across the state are eager to help victims of the central Washington wildfires. I’ve learned there are three separate needs. The immediate is food, water and shelter. The next wave will come when people return home and need to replace critical items. They’ll also need gas cards for travel and to run generators. After that things turn long-term like jobs and housing.
To meet the immediate need you can give to the Red Cross. If you’re looking to give to a community organization there are several options. The Community Foundation of North Central Washington has several fire relief funds benefiting victims of the current devastation. The Wildland Firefighter Foundation helps the families of fallen and injured firefighters.
I know many people are ready to launch food and clothing drives and deliver donations themselves. While the victims and communities appreciate the thought, it’s not something they can’t handle right now. So please refrain from gathering a bunch of items and driving them over.
I’ve received a couple of specific donation request. The Mayor of the City of Tonasket says the city needs three, 440V 3-phase generators and three, 220V 3-phase generators. Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you or someone you know can fulfill that request. Rep. Joel Kretz from Omak said there is a need for water trucks and manpower. He said there has been confusion on who can assist with the firefighting effort but his office can clarify. Click here for his contact information.