How Can You Help with the Wildfires in Washington?

UntitledOn August 14, 2015, lightening struck Northern Washington, creating a chain reaction that has left many Washington residents in despair, and even more asking how they can help. The Okanogan Complex is a series of wildfires that has engulfed much of Northern Washington. Since this tragedy began in mid-August, there have been five separate fires within this complex, covering a total of 256,567 acres. This is the largest wildfire complex in Washington’s history, affecting the 9 Mile, Beaver, Twisp River, and Tunk Block areas the most.

There is no doubting how great the Washington Firefighting forces are, now more than ever. Firefighters from throughout Washington, other states, and even New Zealand and Australia have joined forces to take these fires on. They have created a team of 1,250 workers and 700 National Guardsmen that have been working every day to contain the these fires and keep Washington residents as safe as possible. At the time that this article is being written, ten percent of the fires have been contained, with that number only growing.

However, no matter how hard the workers have been pushing daily, these fires have threatened over 5,000 homes and have left many families displaced due to evacuation. This leads to many people asking the question “How can I help?” Luckily, Washington residents are empathetic and compassionate, and there are a lot of opportunities that people have set up in order to make it as easy as possible to help those who have been left in need after these terrible fires.

The Story of Kim Beus

During these fires, Port Angeles resident, Kim Beus, lost her former home to the fire. However, she did not let this loss get her down. Instead, it sparked a drive to help those who lost even more than her, or were not able to get back on their feet as quickly as Beus and her husband were. Beus started a drive for donations to those who have lost homes in various wildfires across the state.

For this drive, you can donate money, pet food, horse halters, batteries, tools, and duct tape at Hartnagel Building Supply at 3111 E. U.S. Highway 101 anytime during store hours.

Other Ways to Donate

  • Room One
    • Room One partners with organizations across the state to help rebuild the homes and communities that have been lost following wildfires. Donations can be made in the Twisp area and most have been serving the Methow Valley.
  • The Community Foundation of North Central Washington
    • This local group is working through the Chalan Valley Relief Fund. One local community has even pledged to match a donation of up to $10,000.
  • The United Way of Chelan and Douglas Counties
    • This sector of The United Way has set up a Sleepy Hollow Fire Relief Fund. When donating to this organization, you can specify where you want your funds to go, if the location or specific family matters to you.
  • The Salvation Army
    • The office in Wenatchee is asking for financial donations. They are using this money to give away gas cards and thrift store vouchers.
  • The Okanogan County Community Action Council
    • For more immediate needs, this group is helping to provide food, gas, and shelter for those who have been displaced from their homes, whether that be due to direct loss or evacuation.

These are just a few places where you can help by donating to the efforts. Fortunately, the fires are beginning to be contained, but even after it is all over there will be many people put out of their homes. If you have any further questions on how you can make an impact on these people, do not hesitate to call one of the attorneys at McMenamin & McMenamin, PS. We are all Washington residents and we are all in this together.

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