Earlier today it was announced that the Okanogan Complex of wildfires has earned the inauspicious distinction as the largest in Washington state history. Nearly 1,300 people are battling the five fires that make up the complex, the 9 Mile, Beaver Lake, Twisp River, Lime Belt, and Tunk Block fires, which have consumed more than 400 square miles of land in North Central Washington.
The ability to provide basic supplies for the crews fighting the Okanogan Complex fires is being strained. In response, the Yakima City Council is leading a local effort to gather everything from water to ChapStick, jerky to granola bars.
“The Yakima community is always willing to help others in times of crisis,” said Assistant Mayor Kathy Coffey, who spearheaded the idea to gather donations for the Okanogan Complex firefighters. “By donating basic supplies that the firefighters need every day, we can play a small part in helping the crews do their jobs.”
From today through this Friday, August 28th, donations of specific, non-perishable items will be accepted at two City of Yakima fire stations – Station 91 at 401 N. Front Street and Station 93 at 40th Avenue and Englewood Avenue. Donations can be taken to the two stations at any time of day. If firefighters from the two stations are on a call, donation bins outside the facilities will be available.
Here is the list of specific items requested by the Firefighter Relief Center at the Tonasket Visitor Center:
– Jerky – Granola bars – Bottled water – Gum – White socks
– Gatorade packet drink mix (with electrolytes) – White T-shirts
– White underwear – ChapStick – Visine – Baby wipes
– Ibuprofen/Tylenol – Bandanas – Tampons/pads
– Gallon-size Ziploc bags
The items collected in Yakima will be sorted by volunteers and delivered to the Firefighter Relief Center at the Tonasket Visitor Center. Any questions about the Yakima donation drive can be directed to the City’s Communications & Public Affairs Director, Randy Beehler, by phone at 509-901-1142 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No cash donations will be accepted at the two Yakima fire stations. Anyone interested in making cash donations can do so on several websites including the American Red Cross at http://www.redcross.org/, the Community Foundation of North Central Washington at
As of today, the Okanogan Complex fires are only 10% contained. According to emergency management officials, the fires could continue burning for several more months.