Money, not goods, is what is most needed to help people displaced by the wildfires raging in Kittitas County.
That's the message put out Thursday by the state of Washington's Emergency Management Division on behalf of the Kittitas County sheriff:
"Cash donations allow for the purchase of specific supplies in the exact quantities most needed at each step in the response and recovery process, while donations of items such as furniture and clothing create challenges of storage, inventorying and distribution, according to Mackenzie Williams of the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office."
Donations to the Red Cross can be made via the Northwest Response program set up by KING 5 in partnership with U.S. Bank and the Red Cross.
Kittitas County Red Cross Chapter, Phone: 509-925-5866. The Red Cross asks: "PLEASE consider helping us by making a monetary donation to the Ellensburg Chapter - we are located on 312 North Pearl Street."
The Salvation Army has created a fund to aid people affected by the Kittitas County fires. Donations can be made online www.SalvationArmyNW.org (designate gift for ‘Taylor Bridge Fire’) or by phone, 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
Kittitas County residents have created a clearinghouse for information on how victims of the Taylor Bridge fire can get help and how other people can provide assistance to people displaced by the fire, at this link on Facebook. Another one has been set up on Facebook.
People who need shelter and care for displaced animals can go to another Facebook page -- Taylor Bridge Fire Animal Recovery. An emergency animal shelter for farm animals has been set up at the Kittitas County Fairgrounds.
An account has been set up at Central Valley Bank in Ellensburg in the name of Rodeo City Equine Rescue. To donate call 509-925-5444. Money will go for animal care.
Another account for animal assistance has been established at Cashmere Valley Bank. Make checks payable to Friends of Kittitas County Fair and make a notation that the money is for "Taylor Bridge Fire Animals." Donations can be dropped off at bank locations or at the Old Mill Country Store, Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce and Kittitas County Event Center/Fairgrounds.
An emergency shelter is at the Cle Elum Centennial Senior Center, 719 East Third Street, 509-674-7530.
-- Homeowners can call Kittitas Co. Emergency Operation Center at 509.933.8305 for the latest fire information.
-- Donations of water and food for firefighters can be taken to the downtown fire station (No. 29) at 102 North Pearl Street.
Kittitas County Emergency Management, Phone: 509-962-7525
Washington State Emergency Management Division offers information on how citizens can obtain immediate and long-term assistance.
The office of the Washington State Insurance Commissioner has a list of tips for people who need to file claims. The office's consumer advocacy staff (1-800-562-6900) will be available to help fire victims if they have trouble filing insurance claims.