OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Volunteers from Oklahoma have joined the American Red Cross, headed to respond to wildfires in Northern California.
American Red Cross said the four volunteers are helping with shelter and aid for those displaced from the Mosquito fire near Sacramento. They left Saturday and will be staying there for the next two weeks.
“Our three volunteers will be on the ground, will be there doing that. We also have a volunteer that we have deployed virtually who will be helping with disaster health needs, make referrals for people and those sorts of things remotely on the Internet,” Matt Trotter, regional communications director at American Red Cross Kansas-Oklahoma Region.
All four volunteers are trained disaster workers.
“They really do the heavy lifting when it comes to something like this. When a region like California Gulf Country needs our help, help them across the country to take care of people who have been affected by a disaster. Our volunteers are ready to go at a moment’s notice,” said Trotter.
There are currently four shelters open in the Sacramento area for people displaced by the fire. The volunteers will be out there helping provide comfort and care for people who are staying in the shelter until they can find a more permanent place to go.
“We like to talk about the Oklahoma standard a lot here in the state and the Red Cross sort of just expands that across the U.S. When people are in need and when people need help, the Red Cross steps in to do it again and coordinate with local agencies to really maximize the help that’s available for people who are probably facing one of the worst times in their lives,” said Trotter.
Matt Trotter said they are responding to some fires in Oregon and in Southern California as well.
“We’re really hoping the firefighters can get some weather breaks, get a handle on the fire. We know that dozens of people have been displaced already and we’re just hoping for the best when it comes to getting that under control. This is definitely a tough time. And the Red Cross is seeing more large scale disasters more frequently. And we expect that to continue going forward,” said Trotter.
Oklahoma has had its fair share of wildfires too this year. In response, American Red Cross has also been in the community providing support to many locally.
“In several instances, our volunteers have gone out to bring meals, bring water, bring snacks and other sorts of things to firefighters who are on the front lines. Keep them fed, keep them hydrated, and make sure that they’re at their best to keep us all safe,” said Trotter.
At last check, “Cal Fire” said the flames have burned more than 30-thousand acres.
American Red Cross also told KFOR, they can use more volunteers to help with community disasters, and some who would like to respond to bigger disasters like the one in California.
“We can always use volunteers to help with the Red Cross. Even if a big disaster like these fires in California isn’t exactly what you’re looking for. Most of the disasters we respond to each year are house fires. And so, you can sign up to volunteer, be a disaster responder, right in your own community and help people maybe just down the street from you when they need it the most,” said Trotter.
If that’s something you’re interested in, you can go to their website to get started.