OKLAHOMA CITY (May 5, 2014) – The Arkansas-Oklahoma Division of The Salvation Army is responding to a very large wildfire that is affecting many in Logan County. Record temperatures, drought and strong winds are causing extreme fire danger to much of Oklahoma. The wildfire, which began on Sunday has reportedly burned over 3,000 acres and is responsible for one fatality. At least 30 structures have been destroyed.
Stillwater: As recent as last Thursday, the Stillwater Salvation Army was assigned a canteen. It provides a wonderful tool to not only assist during times of disaster but also as a ministry tool. The Stillwater Officers, as well as an employee and Advisory Board member just recently attended Emergency Disaster Services training at Camp Heart O’Hills.
Captain Patrishia Knott, Stillwater Salvation Army Officers, reports their team was called last night and asked to deploy early this morning. She states “It was exciting to put the canteen and our training to use so soon. The canteen is still so new to us; we were unpacking the coffee pot on the way! The responders were exhausted this morning, it was an honor to be able to offer a bottle of water, Gatorade, hot coffee, a hot breakfast or snack to those working so hard to put out the fires. And, it was fun writing The Salvation Army Stillwater on the brand new ice chests and equipment!” The Stillwater canteen was asked to provide breakfast to those sheltered by American Red Cross as well as first responders.
Central Oklahoma Area Command: The Central Oklahoma Area Command (COAC) has also been deployed to serve lunch and dinner. COAC’s new Emergency Disaster Coordinator, Kenny Kelly, is gaining experience quickly. He was deployed to Arkansas last week to assist with tornado response and today he is overseeing his unit’s response to the wildfire. Kenny brought a full crew of volunteers plus himself and another employee. We appreciate our volunteers and couldn’t do it without them!
The Salvation Army is working closely with Emergency Management to ensure the response is closely coordinated with multiple partners. The Army is also coordinating feeding efforts with the American Red Cross and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief. The Army’s EDS teams will remain on site as long as requested.
Additional updates will be provided as necessary.
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About the Salvation Army:
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination since 1865. Nearly 33 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 83 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in nearly 9,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.