Trained members of the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter are helping individuals affected by a massive wildfire in Washington State where thousands of acres are burning and residents are being forced to leave their homes.
Traveling to Washington State from the Bay Area Chapter are Martin Healy from Contra Costa County, along with Alzinia Palin and Robert Hewitt from Solano County. A total of 20 volunteers from the Gateway to the Golden State region are responding thus far.
Wildfires have already destroyed almost 300,000 acres in Washington and officials are asking for other states to send firefighters to help put out the flames. The American Red Cross is supporting the affected residents and first responders.
The fires have forced people to leave their neighborhoods and more than 200 people have stayed in numerous Red Cross shelters since the fires started. Many others visit the shelters during the day to get the latest information about the fires and have access to other services.
Red Cross workers have already provided more than 3,200 meals and snacks and the Southern Baptist Convention has opened a mobile kitchen to help the Red Cross distribute meals throughout the affected areas as they are deemed safe. They are also providing health and mental health services and meeting one-on one with people to determine what other services they need.
The Red Cross is also distributing things such as trash bags, heavy work gloves and masks to people who are starting to sift through the ashes where their homes once stood. Red Cross workers remain in close coordination with Emergency Management teams to identify what additional help people may need.