Since the City of Yakima launched a donation campaign on Monday to gather items to assist crews battling the Okanogan Complex wildfires, the generosity of the Yakima community has been on full display. Donations from local residents and businesses have been pouring in to the two Yakima fire stations where they are being accepted. Members of Yakima-area Mormon churches have volunteered to sort the donated items and get them ready to be shipped. Haney Truck Line, a Yakima-based hauler, has offered to haul the donations, which may fill multiple semi trailers, to the Firefighter Relief Center in Tonasket for free.
The campaign has also caught the attention of people from outside of Yakima who have learned about the supply drive through social media and have joined the effort.
“I’ve talked to people from as far away as Chicago and North Dakota who are sending donations our way,” said Communications & Public Affairs Director Randy Beehler. “Federal detention workers from Sea-Tac, a business owner from Sunnyside, a group from Clark County (in southwest Washington state), a group from Burlington (in northwest Washington state) are all pitching in. It’s truly an extraordinary response and speaks volumes about the willingness of people to go above and beyond in times of crisis,” said Beehler.
Donations of specific, non-perishable items for Okanogan Complex firefighters will be accepted at Yakima Fire Department Station 91 at 401 N. Front Street and Station 93 at 40th Avenue and Englewood Avenue through noon on Friday, August 28th. Donations of money can also be accepted at the two fire stations (checks should be made out to the Yakima Firefighters Association) and will be used to purchase additional supplies.
Even though the Yakima supply drive will end at noon on Friday, donations will continue to be accepted at the Firefighter Relief Center in Tonasket. Donations can be mailed to the Tonasket Visitor and Business Information Center, Firefighter Relief Center, 215 South Whitcomb Avenue, Tonasket, Washington, 98855.
The specific items requested by the Firefighter Relief Center in Tonasket are:
– Jerky – Granola bars – Bottled water – Gum – Visine – ChapStick
– Ibuprofen/Tylenol – Bandanas – Tampons/pads – Baby wipes
– White socks (100% cotton) – White T-shirts (100% cotton) – White underwear (100% cotton)
– Gatorade packet drink mix (with electrolytes) – Gallon-size Ziploc bags
The items collected in Yakima will be delivered to the Firefighter Relief Center in Tonasket this weekend.
As of today, the Okanogan Complex fires are approximately 17% contained, up from 15% containment on Tuesday. Almost 1,350 firefighters and other personnel are currently assigned to the Okanogan Complex. According to emergency management officials, the fires could continue burning for several more months.
Any questions about the Yakima supply drive can be directed to Communications & Public Affairs Director Randy Beehler by phone at 901-1142 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.