By Alicia Dorr
“We’re grateful the Red Cross is here.”
The Mosquito Wildfire was first detected more than three weeks ago, but residents near it are still reeling from its destruction. As Red Cross volunteers go into the communities to help families get back on their feet, fire information officers Kimberly Peterson and Andrew Dowd are also in the community working to educate residents about wildfires.
“This is such a great classroom for talking about wildfire,” Andrew says.
The Red Cross partners closely with local officials to help communities get on the road to recovery – but also to help educate on how to protect your family should a fire spark again. For the Red Cross, this means offering hope for the future through immediate assistance or resources like our Emergency Preparedness App. Kimberly says hope is what they want to share, too.
“Life is still here,” Kimberly says. “In those areas where the fire cleared up the forest floor, new growth will come back – not all is lost.”
Kimberly and Red Cross disaster job director Betsy Witthohn discussed ways buildings can be protected, from prescribed burns by local fire departments to ensuring low brush is cleared out around your home. Kimberly also shared that the red fire retardant used to push back fires has ammonium nitrate in it.
“It actually puts nutrients back in the soil,” she explains.
Red Cross volunteers go into the communities affected by the Mosquito Fire doing everything from handing out clean-up kits to connecting people with long-term resources, and they interact regularly with local officials who are also the boots on the ground. Kimberly says it does not go unnoticed.
“We’re grateful the Red Cross is here,” she says.
To find out more about how you can prepare your family for disasters, or to find out how you can donate or volunteer, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcross.org.