Home  |  About Norma  |  News & Media  |  Email Updates  |  The Ledger  |  Contact

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Dear Friends,

For the first time in state history, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is accepting volunteers to help battle the wildfires that have been raging throughout our state. These wildfires have devastated entire communities, uprooted families, and taken the lives of three of our brave firefighters.

The devastation these wildfires have caused is very personal to me, as I have worked for years with many of the individuals impacted by the fires to provide funding for forest restoration efforts in central and eastern Washington. Like you, my heart breaks for them and their communities, and all those who are suffering. Please join me in praying for our fellow citizens during this incredibly difficult time.

Our firefighters continue to battle heroically, but they need our help. DNR has set up temporary community resource coordination centers in Omak and Colville for those who would like to commit their time and/or equipment to the effort. Potential volunteers should contact DNR coordinators in advance with their desired role, existing fire qualifications, location and contact information. Centers are being established in two strategic locations:

Omak

Contact: Jay Guthrie
Address: Omak City Hall, 2 Ash St. N
Phone: (360) 826-2546
Email: CRC.Omak@gmail.com

Colville

Contact: Julie Sacket
Address: Washington State Department of Transportation Second Floor, 440 N Hwy 395
Phone: (509) 675-7847
Email: CRC.Colville@gmail.com

If you have any questions, please either call the resource coordination centers in Omak and Colville or call my office at (360) 786-7884. Below is the full letter sent out from DNR yesterday:

Citizens asked to coordinate with DNR to support firefight
Centers in Omak, Colville to help volunteers get on the line safely

OLYMPIA – For the first time in state history, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is setting up temporary community resource coordination centers for those wishing to commit time or equipment to fighting the current storm of wildfires. With firestorms raging throughout the state, DNR fire incident command posts and dispatch centers have been inundated with offers from citizens to support firefighting efforts.

“If people want to help, we'd like them to contact our coordinators so we can work on getting them safely and appropriately involved,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “We appreciate all offers of qualified and trained support. Safety for everyone is our highest priority.”

DNR is asking those offers be directed to the temporary coordination centers in Colville and Omak to allow DNR fire officers to remain focused on fighting active fires. The centers will organize training sessions for those not currently qualified to serve on the fire line. Some 80 equipment operators earned their certification to work if called at a training session in Colville earlier this month. Beginning 7 a.m. Friday, Aug. 21, coordinators will review citizens' offers for resources and direct them to where they can be most beneficial and without jeopardizing the safety of firefighters and the public.

Even if a member of the public has sufficient credentials, deployment to a wildfire will depend on the availability of professional firefighter staff to accompany, direct, and ensure the safety of everyone concerned. The type of credentials that would be considered appropriate for a volunteer include “Red Card” firefighters and “Blue Card” equipment operators.

Centers are being established in two strategic locations:

Omak

Contact: Jay Guthrie
Address: Omak City Hall, 2 Ash St. N
Phone: (360) 826-2546
Email: CRC.Omak@gmail.com

Colville

Contact: Julie Sacket
Address: WA State Dept. of Transportation Second Floor, 440 N Hwy 395
Phone: (509) 675-7847
Email: CRC.Colville@gmail.com

Each station will be staffed during posted hours with DNR coordinators who will sign up volunteers and contractors, determine where their assistance will be of most help, and arrange training in wildfire safety, where appropriate. Phone messages and emails can be submitted and will be reviewed during hours the coordination centers are not staffed.

To expedite the processing service, potential volunteers should contact DNR coordinators at the above phone numbers or email addresses in advance with their desired role, existing fire qualifications, location, and contact information.

Warm Regards,


Norma Smith

State Representative Norma Smith, 10th Legislative District
RepresentativeNormaSmith.com
435 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
norma.smith@leg.wa.gov
360-786-7884 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000