PNW Disaster Response – Wildfire Update:
How You Can Help
By Jim Truitt
It has been a hot and dry summer in the Pacific Northwest – making conditions ideal for wildfires. Our Conference area currently has multiple fires raging, consuming acres of brush, timber and buildings. The four largest in Washington are the Chelan Complex, the Okanogan Complex and the Kettle Complex. In northern Idaho, the Clearwater Complex is currently under observation.
The Chelan Complex fire covers approximately 155 square miles and is still growing. None of the fires are more than 30% contained. Fortunately, the areas affected are sparsely populated, thus a relatively small number of primary residences are in danger compared to if the fires occurred in larger towns. But unfortunately, by the time these fires are contained, people will have already lost everything they have.
We don’t know now what the recovery effort will require. It will be several days to weeks after the fires are out before we know the magnitude of the task. We speculate it will be as large or larger than the Carlton Complex Fire recovery. It is highly unlikely that any of these fires will qualify for a FEMA declaration, so the financing of the recovery will have to come from the generous donations of individuals, organizations and corporations. Volunteers will be needed to help rebuild the homes of those who don’t have the means to do it themselves. We are optimistic that faith-based organizations will once again partner to get the job done as we are doing for the Carlton Complex Recovery.
Until we know what will be required, we ask that you begin praying about how you can help.
- Are you willing to make a trip to one of the areas to help rebuild?
- Are you willing to organize a team?
- Can you provide supplies?
- Most importantly, can you help financially?
Now is the time to start building a financial resource for the recovery. You can make a donation to our PNW Conference’s disaster fund (Advance #352) through your local church or by sending a check to the PNW Conference Treasurer at P.O. Box 13650, Des Moines, WA 98198 with Conference Advance #352 on the memo line. You can also make a donation online.
Please do not send donations in kind to the area unless an official request is made for specific items. Donations management is often called the second disaster because the donations are not needed, are inappropriate, or just plain junk.
Please remember to keep all those affected by the fires in your prayers. As we discern, let’s keep in mind that not only are people losing their homes and their possessions some have lost their livelihood because the place where they have worked is now ash.