As fire victims and firefighters need resources, volunteers lend a hand

Michael Brock

For the past several weeks, community members and volunteers have banded together to help provide resources for fire victims and firefighters in the area.

KS Brooks, who helped start the Eastern Washington Firefighter Support Network in 2015, has been among those coordinating and delivering donations. The majority of supplies have gone to Inchelium, while one delivery went to each of Malden and Bridgeport.

The first distribution was made to Inchelium on the afternoon of Sept. 8, after fires caused level 3 evacuations the night before. At the time, items such as gallon plastic bags, sandwich bags, napkins, coolers, ice, bottled water, coffee, paper plates and cold sandwiches were in high demand. There was also a major need for hay—the fields in Inchelium burned, leading many ranchers to rely on hay to feed their animals.

The community center in Inchelium became a hub for people to get meals, food and supplies. Some people remained without power or running water for several days, and were living in the community center. As such, the need increased for canned food, granola bars, instant soup, snack food that doesn’t require refrigeration, paper towels and toilet paper.

A few days later, Brooks made contact with people in Bridgeport and Malden, who were in “dire need.” In Malden—where a reported 80% of homes in the 200-person population were destroyed—items such as women’s and children’s underwear, duffle bags, work gloves, blankets, coloring books and other activity books for kids, bottled water, and snacks were requested.

On Sept. 12 and 13, deliveries were made to the fire sites in Inchelium, Bridgeport and Malden. Three others have been made to Inchelium since.

Read the full story in the September 30 edition of the Deer Park Tribune.