American Red Cross seeks volunteers for wildfire season


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Due to the ongoing threat from wildfires, the American Red Cross North Texas Region has put out a call asking for individuals to become Red Cross volunteers and take part in future relief efforts.

Since March 1, the Red Cross has responded to more than 160 wildfires in greater North Texas. Red Crossers provided immediate and long-term aid, staff shelters and evacuation points and set up canteen services for firefighters. Disaster Action Team, Disaster Recovery Casework, Mass Care Team and Shelter Services volunteers are on the frontlines of recovery response, and they are especially needed now.

Katrina Farmer, Red Cross North Texas Disaster Officer said: “Our volunteer workforce is critical in carrying out the mission of the American Red Cross. Volunteers respond to house fires, tornadoes, floods and more, offering the immediate assistance that our neighbours need. Please join our more than 1,600 North Texas volunteers and support your community.”

Carla Signoret, Red Cross Disaster Action Team volunteer commented: “The way the Disaster Action Team works is we wait for a call or a text letting us know we are needed. When a fire happens, we get the address and relevant details about the event. We try to reach the client within the first couple of hours. Our job is to be there, offer support and get their information so that those affected can get assistance.”

Wildfire prevention

The American Red Cross also issued some advice on preventing wildfires, pointing out that people cause 85 percent of wildfires by burning debris, using equipment improperly, discarding cigarettes carelessly, leaving campfires unattended and by arson.

It advised:

  • Don’t drive your vehicle onto dry grass or brush. Hot components under your vehicle can spark fires.
  • Use equipment responsibly. Lawn mowers, chain saws, tractors, and trimmers can all spark a wildfire.
  • Use caution any time you use fire. Dispose of charcoal briquettes and fireplace ashes properly, never leave any outdoor fire unattended, and make sure that outdoor fires are fully extinguished before leaving the area.
  • If residential debris burning is allowed – use caution! After obtaining any necessary permits, ensure that burning is not currently restricted in your area.
  • Store combustible or flammable materials in approved safety containers away from the house. 
  • Keep the gas grill and propane tank at least 15 feet away from any structure. Do not use the grill during potentially dangerous fire weather conditions. Always have a fire extinguisher or hose nearby.
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