The Salvation Army Responds to Oklahoma Wildfires
Cynthia (Cindy) Fuller
Oklahoma City, OK (August 4, 2012) – In the past several hours, The Salvation Army ‘s Central Oklahoma Area Command’s canteen (mobile feeding unit) has responded to multiple wildfire sites in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area to assist first responders. A statewide Burn Ban is in effect for all 77 counties in Oklahoma. There is a Red Flag Warning and Extreme fire danger in many counties today. Humidity of 12% to 20% is expected with winds of 15 – 25 mph predicted. Temperatures are forecast for 102 – 113.
Due to high fire danger across the state, the State Emergency Operations Center remains activated. At a statewide level, The Salvation Army is working with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) and other State agencies. The Salvation Army units continue to work with their local emergency managers, first responders, and community partners. The Salvation Army is prepared to serve food, hydration and emotional and spiritual care to those affected by the wildfires.
Blaine County – The Salvation Army’s Central Oklahoma Area Command’s canteen was requested by Blaine County Emergency Management to serve meals to first responders fighting a fire that was near Geary. Over 200 meals were served along with many snacks, water and Gatorade. Additionally, 40 meals were sent to Canadian County (Concho) for first responders fighting a fire in the area.
Oklahoma County – A fire in Luther, located east of Oklahoma City, continues to burn. According to early reports, more than 30 structures have been destroyed. The Central Oklahoma Area Command’s canteen provided breakfast to approximately 200 responders this morning.
Cleveland County –– Fires continue to burn near Noble and Slaughterville and homes continue to be evacuated. Early reports indicate over 75 structures have been destroyed. The Central Oklahoma Area Command’s canteen will be serving lunch and dinner to first responders at the Incident Command in Cleveland County.
Additional fires throughout Oklahoma have been reported in Lincoln, Logan and Muskogee counties as well as Elk City in Roger Mills County, Ft. Cobb in Caddo County, Mannford in Creek County, Ninnekah in Grady County, and Preston in Okmulgee County and Wewoka in Seminole County.
The Salvation Army is also working closely with VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster). Feed the Children, Oklahoma VOAD partner, has agreed to accept donations of water and Gatorade and distribute to those organizations active in response. Feed The Children opened their warehouse, located at 31 N. McCormick Avenue, at 9:00 AM this morning. It will remain open until 3:00 PM today. Feed the Children will gather, sort, palletize, and then distribute donated items as needed to other organizations responding in the state.
The Salvation Army will stay on site for as long as they are needed. Additional information will be provided as it is available.