By Alan Sorensen
The Bear Paw Chapter of the American Red Cross has sent out a plea for donations to aid people victimized by the wildfires blazing through Montana's forests.
Vicke Larson of the Red Cross chapter in Havre said the situation is immediate and crucial. At this time, the Red Cross already has 17 emergency relief vehicles (ERVs) dispatched to western Montana. Four more are en route. Among those ERVs are some from as far away as Texas and California.
The vehicles are equipped with food snacks and water, informational brochures on recovery efforts and basic supplies.
The Red Cross has established mobile emergency aid stations at Boulder and Hamilton, and activated teams of nurses and disaster mental health workers to Stevensville, Sula, Darby and Boulder, Larson said.
Anyone needing Red Cross services is urged to call the toll free HELPLINE at 1-800-541-2748.
According to data provided by the American Red Cross, the organization has provided overnight shelter to 142 people and daytime shelter to more than 500. It has served up 8,303 meals and provided direct disaster assistance to 26 families. Crisis counseling contacts to date number 373 and a total of 436 Red Cross volunteers have helped out so far.
All American Red Cross disaster relief is free, Larson said, a gift from the American people.
To help the victims of this and other disasters, make contributions to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by calling 1-800-HELP-NOW.
Contributions to the American Red Cross can also be sent to the Bear Paw Chapter in Havre. The Havre office telephone number is 265-1500 and the address is P.O. Box 1498, Havre, MT 59501.