Fresno, CA – Monday, August 26, 2013 In response to the Rim Fire which began on August 17, 2013, days before lightning storms swept through the region and sparked other, smaller blazes, Red Cross volunteers in the Central Valley have opened a shelter in Greeley Hill, California. The high winds and movement of the fire from bone-dry brush on the ground to 100-foot oak and pine treetops have created dire conditions. Evacuations have been ordered for residents in the affected area. The fire has consumed 225 square miles of picturesque forests. Officials estimate containment at just 7% as of Sunday evening.
Red Cross volunteers from the Central Valley Region have been on standby due to the high risk and nature of this wildfire. On Sunday afternoon volunteers were activated to open a shelter at Greeley Hill Community Center, 10332 Fisk Road, Greeley Hill, CA to support those affected by the Rim Wildfires in the Mariposa/Stanislaus/Tuolumne counties region. Red Cross is prepared to support evacuees over the next few days with cots, blankets, food and other support services.
Household and domestic animals are permitted at Red Cross shelter locations under the care of the Central California Animal Disaster Team. Evacuees are encouraged to let their loved ones know they have safely evacuated by registering for Safe & Well at the Greeley Hill Library, 10332 Fisk Road, Greeley Hill, CA. To search for a loved one, please visit www.safeandwell.org
Red Cross volunteers are providing emergency relief for families and individuals impacted by this wildfire. “We are providing shelter, food and comfort kits with basic hygiene products including soap, shampoo, and toothpaste to anyone staying in our shelters,” said Ellen Knapp, Red Cross Regional CEO. “In addition to providing the basic needs, trained volunteers are on hand to provide emotional support for displaced residents during this very difficult time,” Knapp said.
Currently, Greeley Hill Road is only accessible to emergency and fire personnel, and evacuees. To schedule a media interview please contact Alex Villa, (559) 709-5323. No media will be permitted inside a Red Cross shelter without consent and a scheduled appointment with a Red Cross representative.
Donors can help people affected by this wildfire, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross. Donations by check should be made payable to “American Red Cross Central Valley Region” and sent to the American Red Cross Central Valley Chapter at 1300 W Shaw Ave, Suite 4B, Fresno, CA 93711. To make an online donation visit us at www.redcross.org/CentralValleyRegion