(Posted May 22, 2012 at 3:05 p.m.) County and volunteer workers involved with the Gladiator Fire would like to remind the public that unrequested donations and self-dispatched volunteers can often create logistics problems for personnel working on the emergency.
The Yavapai County Emergency Operations Center, as well as the American Red Cross and others working to support the firefighting efforts, have spoken to and heard from people who want to know where they can drop off donations.
While donations are greatly appreciated, the immediate needs of evacuees are being addressed. When the time comes and their specific needs are determined, a collection location will be identified and announced to the public.
People wanting to make financial contributions to non-governmental agencies that support disaster recovery can do so through the Arizona Organizations Active in Disaster (Arizona VOAD) Wildfires & Floods Recovery Fund.
Donations can be made through the Arizona Ecumenical Council by clicking on the Wildfires & Floods Recovery Fund link. The Arizona Ecumenical Council is a 501 (c)(3), tax-deductible organization, with all funds going to survivor recovery efforts.
Regarding volunteers, when well-intentioned people show up spontaneously at a dangerous fire scene, that offer of help can lead to unsafe situations for both the public and the firefighters. Members of the public are asked to avoid the areas where fires are actively burning.
Organizations that are always accepting volunteers and would appreciate hearing from those with time and a desire to help include the American Red Cross and the Yavapai County Medical Reserve Corps.
The American Red Cross, Grand Canyon Chapter can be reached by going online or by calling (602) 336-6660.
The Yavapai County Medical Reserve Corps can be reached by going to Yavapai County Community Health Services or by calling (928) 442-5487.
The smoke in many local towns may appear to be improving but as the wind shifts, things can change quickly. Anyone with a heart or lung condition, asthma, COPD, or emphysema may be sensitive to pollutants in the air and should still consider limiting their time outside to a minimum.
Keep doors and windows closed whenever possible and immediately seek help if you start to feel sick or disoriented. For up to the minute information on the air quality in the area, see the readings of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Portable Particulate Monitors.
(Source: Yavapai County)