I have been thinking about all of you and meaning to write and read blogs but things have begun to get crazy a little over a week ago when the Morris fire started on August 25. I work for the City just below the fire, and am also are part of the Emergency Operations Command for that City. Since no homes were threatened in the City they did not activate the EOC. But later in the week, Thursday, the EOC command chief asked me and one of my coworkers, we are both part of this organization, and have been trained. I wrote about it here, to go and assess the needs of some animals that had been evacuated out with their owners and were at a makeshift shelter up the canyon.
These people live up in the canyon on a forest service land along a dirt road in cabins and trailers and were evacuated when the fire came close to them, and fortunately as of today there homes are intact, but the electricity is still out. Some of the cabins don’t have indoor toilets, so there are out houses, and some cabins are quite comfortable. So you can imagine the eclectic group.
They were staying in tents on private property, with permission, with their animals because the Red Cross would not let them come to their shelter with their pets. Although the red cross was providing meals. It was over 105 out and the smoke was awful. When we arrived and told them we were just there to see if they needed anything for their animals, they were relieved and of course they did. There were cats in tiny carriers in 105 degree heat, there were birds and dogs and a rabbit. I called NW and told them we needed them there and we went to get some supplies. We went and bought food wet and dry, litter, and a couple large wire crates for the cats, and couple small wading pools for the dogs to cool off in, and were able to return and provide immediate relief within an hour. Many of the dogs were old, and the cats needed some room to cool off. The city brought some easy ups for additional shade. A total of about 10 dogs 8 cats and 5 birds and a rabbit.
NW’s large supply trailer arrived a few hours later with more crates x-pens etc. I went home, additional volunteers showed up and the place was manned by NW from Thursday to Sunday. It wasn’t a traditional deployment as the people were caring for their own animals; we were just supplying the food etc and assistance when needed. These people didn’t have much. I was there Friday and Sunday, and brought lunches for the volunteers, changed a couple cat boxes, fell in love with this very old dog Tommywho I wanted to take home and take care of. You can see pictures of the deployment and read about it here.
Tommy cooling off
There was a rescue on Thursday when NW hiked in about a mile to bring out 2 dogs which were left by an owner who was not home when they were evacuated, there were also 2 cats, but since the fire was contained the thought was people would be going back in with in a couple of days. But by Sunday when it did not look like the residents would be able to return NW went back in and brought out the cats.
Because there is no electricity at the cabin the residents are not going back in, hopefully electricity will be restored by early next week. NW pulled out on Sunday night, and the red cross said they would not provide any more meals since it was not an official shelter, but my friend and I have been doing welfare checks daily on the animals and people and also arranged through APU and several area churches to have at least one hot meal a day brought in. So since last Tuesday they have been getting a hot meal each day, and we have stuff coming until Monday.I am hoping they can go home by then. We have also been making sure that they have anything they need for the animals.
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