The Western states of Oregon, Washington, Montana, and California have been hit hard by devastating wildfires. With all these outbreaks, personnel and resources in the region are spread thin, but across the U.S. and Canada people have come together to raise more than a quarter million dollars to support the tireless, brave fire crews.
In Washington state, a fire started by lightning on August 11th began burning the Norse Peak Wilderness, and with a wind change, now threatens the Crystal Mountain Ski Resort area and the watershed for the City of Tacoma. The fire is currently 0% contained and spread over 1098 acres. A fundraiser started by Tiana Anderson, a Crystal Mountain employee who grew up in the area has raised $66,000 for The Greenwater and Crystal Mountain Firefighters Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which makes all donations tax-deductible.
On September 2nd, a wildfire started along the Eagle Creek Trail of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in Oregon. Currently, the Eagle Creek (Gorge) Fire has spread to 45,579 acres after having jumped across the Columbia River into Washington state. As of today, there are over 1000 personnel from across the Pacific Northwest working around the clock on the fire, which is viewed as just 32% contained.
Caroline Park and David Lipps, owners of Thunder Island Brewing Co, and residents of nearby Cascade Locks, started a fundraiser that will send any money raised directly to departments sending the fire crews—some of which are volunteer-based from their home town. She surpassed her goal, raising 18,000, but wants to hit $20K. Their Brewing Co. has also been feeding the busy fire crews. Donate to her campaign here.
A hiking group called Pacific Northwest Outdoor Women has raised almost $41,000 among their members and friends for the nonprofit Washington and Oregon volunteer firefighters associations, which have been sending crews to the various fires burning across the region. Donate to Oregon, here; visit heir Washington campaign here.
Brian Renkema started a GoFundMe campaign to help people in Northwest Montana who lost property and homes in the Caribou Creek fire. Also initiated by a lightening strike, the fire is burning 24,206 acres and is 50% contained today. 310 firefighters are currently fighting on the blaze’s perimeter, 18 miles northwest of Eureka. Favorable weather conditions should benefit the effort in the coming week. Donors, including nearby Canadians, have given $13,000 to Brian’s fundraiser, here.
GoFundMe reported in a press release three days ago that $83,000 was raised in response to California wildfires, but they could not be reached to provide the campaign details.
Regardless of the disaster—flooding in the south, or fires in the west—average citizens have lined up to volunteer their time, and give from their wallets—small gestures that together make a big difference.
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Reprint (Images on GoFundMe, top photo by Tiana Anderson)