Three firefighters were tragically killed yesterday battling a fire near Twisp, Washington. National Guard and Army soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord are being called in to try to contain the growing conflagrations, as more than 100 uncontained fires blazing across Washington and Oregon have exhausted fire crews. Entire communities are evacuating. Family homes are burning. Conditions are unstable and volatile. A pall of smoke hangs over much of the region and the future of human and natural communities of the Northwest. With all but one evacuation route blocked and the fires closing in, my daughter left the Okanogan area last night and returned home to Seattle.
All year, we contact you about significant opportunities to advance solutions to the climate crisis. These devastating fires offer a vivid reminder of how vitally important that work is. So many calamities are still preventable, if we rise to the occasion.
But the fires burning now are no longer preventable. And the victims of those fires need our help. Right now.
The Community Foundation of North Central Washington has established a Fire Relief Fund to support families and individuals in this region. Their efforts, coordinated with other funders and nonprofit partners, will focus on helping displaced families and individuals with long-term recovery efforts that will help them rebuild their lives and get them back on their feet.
Update: the Seattle Times offers more ways to help Washington wildfire victims.
In Oregon, relief efforts are underway to support families who have lost their homes to wildfire in Grant County. Connect with those efforts here.
Thanks for all you do.