'The firefighters have all the supplies and needs met by the fire': So how can you help?


EUGENE, Ore. - Oregon is on fire. Thousands of our neighbors have been forced from their homes. An unfortunate few have lost their homes.

Many Oregonians face air too full of pollution from wildfire smoke to safely breathe.

And countless more are left to worry about the people and places put in peril by the fires.

How can you help?

Red Cross Shelters

The American Red Cross is operating 3 shelters for evacuees from the Eagle Creek Fire and Chetco Bar Fire.

The Chetco Fire - originally about a 1/4 acre ignited by lighting July 12 - burned for weeks before exploding in size in late August. An unknown number of homes have been lost to the flames.

The fire has burned 176,770 acres to date.

The Chetco Bar Fire shelter is now at the Brookings Church of the Nazarene, 1600 Chetco Ave., Brookings, Ore.

The Eagle Creek Fire, by comparison, is the result of illegal use of fireworks. The fire trapped hikers in the woods overnight and sent ash raining down on the Portland area. Evacuations are in effect.

The fire has burned at least 10,000 acres.

Shelters are open at Mount Hood Community College, 26000 SE Stark St., Gresham, Ore., 97030; and Hedgewald Center, 710 SW Rock Creek Drive, Stevenson, Wash.

The Red Cross says you can volunteer to train for future disasters, like the Oregon wildfires or Hurricane Harvey.

You can also support the Red Cross with a financial donation.

"We know Americans are generous and want to do everything they can to help after a disaster. Unfortunately, collecting and sending food, clothing and other households items often does more harm than good," the Red Cross said in a blog post Tuesday. "It takes time and money to store, clean and distribute donated items, which diverts limited time and resources away from helping those most affected."

"Financial donations to 'Disaster Relief' allows the Red Cross to purchase the exact supplies required for the needs of a specific disaster relief operation," according to the blog post.

Wildland Fire Camps

The advice mirrors that of wildland firefighters working the 20 large fires still burning in Oregon.

"Although we appreciate the offer of support and donations, the firefighters have all the supplies and needs met by the fire - three meals a day, showers, water and Gatorade and more," the managers of the Horse Prairie Fire near Riddle said on Facebook last week.

"But there are other ways you can help. The Wildland Firefighter Foundation is setup to help with wildland firefighters and their families when deal with an injury or death.

The firefighters also urged people to support the Red Cross, as well as local community groups.

"Lastly, a nice sign on the side of the road is always appreciated," fire managers wrote. "The crews see them and it helps."

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