North Carolina's Red Cross sends help to aid in Oregon wildfires

Anthony Wilson Image
Sunday, September 13, 2020
North Carolina's Red Cross sends help to aid in Ore. wildfires
Local Red Cross responders are preparing to take off to northern California and Oregon to assist in the deadly wildfires that continue to rage and blacken acres of land.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The video from out West takes your breath away, as you see the thick smoke blanketing much of northern California and Oregon while wildfires blacken more acres.

Those conditions, faced by Red Cross workers like David Garrison, who spoke with ABC11 before heading out to Oregon from his Moore County home.

"We make sure we stay safe. We don't get on top of the fire. We're not first responders, we're kind of the second responders," he said. "Our training is basically in sheltering and feeding. We go in and we're working with the clients who are away from the fire. It's burning a big area, and it's quickly getting into populated areas. And there's been some loss of life. I don't know how bad it's gonna be, and that depends on the weather."

They're aware that the smoke could sicken North Carolina volunteers with respiratory challenges.

"So we know that some of these disaster responses are indeed health-conscious areas," said Barry Porter of the American Red Cross, and ask folks not to go if they have any health issues that might put them at risk."

Now those already on the ground in Oregon and those coordinating the response here remember when Oregon sent volunteers to help North Carolinians weather deadly storms.

"We're still in the midst of hurricane season just peaking, there is a hurricane forecast to hit the Gulf Coast. The American Red Cross can only provide relief and assistance because of the time, energy and effort of our tremendous volunteers," Porter said.

"We want to be able to send people as problem solvers, we call them solutioners, for what's going on. And then the financial assistance to be able to send things closer at hand, not having to sort through goods."

That's why he says donations of clothing for Oregon aren't needed at this time, but money donated through this link will help them make a real difference for people forced to flee their homes as the wildfires keep scorching that state.