Here’s how you can help:
Help Community Members
There’s a community group called “Squirrel Creek Wish List” for those who’ve been evacuated and those who wish to help. Find it on Facebook here. The Red Cross is also coordinating volunteer efforts and supplies. More information on that below.
Help the Firefighters
I talked to the crew at the Big Laramie Valley Station tonight to see what they could use. Another team of firefighters (Type 2 Incident Team) will be staying overnight at the Wycolo Fire Station, likely starting tomorrow. They’re in need of one to two dozen cots and/or sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, and sheets for those staying overnight to battle the blaze. The fire crew also needs the following:
- Water (priority)
- Energy Bars
- Other prepackaged snacks
- Wet wipes
- Other things typically needed are lip balm, over-the-calf cotton socks, cotton t-shirts, baby powder, deodorant and other toiletries, and towels
Donations to the fire crew can be taken to the West Laramie Fire Station at 2374 Jefferson St. (designate them as donations for the Squirrel Creek fire crew), or take them to the Big Laramie Valley Station 4 at 2004 Highway 230. The road is closed just a few miles past the fire station, meaning the Wycolo Station is not accessible to citizens. If you’re unable to get supplies to either place, message me here or email me at email@example.com
Get Volunteer Information
There will be a briefing by the Red Cross at the Albany County Fairgrounds (out on south Hwy 287) tomorrow at 10 AM. This is an excellent time to find out if supplies and/or volunteers are needed.
Finally, stay up to date on the fires and community response here on Cognitive Dissonance, get the official scoop from the Albany County Sheriff’s Office here, and get word on the progress made on the Squirrel Creek fire on InciWeb. Evacuation information can be found at both places. If you have any questions, call non-emergency dispatch at 307-721-2526. Keep in mind, there’s always rumors floating about. Though dispatch is getting slammed, it’s better to call and check before posting an area is being evacuated when it’s not online — especially areas in the city limits. That makes people panic. Currently, the fire is roughly 20-25 miles from Laramie. Here’s a map with the evacuation area marked.
To receive evacuation information, sign up for the emergency notification system CodeRED. Any pre-evacuation or evacuation notices are delivered though this system and the Sheriff’s Office website linked above. CodeRED will automatically call your phone if evacuations are ordered, and you can also elect to receive text alerts. The current evacuation point is the Albany County Fairgrounds.
Remember, the fire restrictions/burn ban are still in effect for Albany County — not to mention much of the Mountain West. This Fourth of July, do not celebrate America by blowing up a small piece of it with fireworks. You might set it on fire instead. Plus, you’ll be breaking the law. So just don’t do it. You’re an ass if you do.
I’ll continue to post updates as I receive more information. Please, share this far and wide.
Stay safe folks,
Have you or someone you know been displaced from work because of the wildfires here in Texas? If so, TWC has some important information for you. You have the ability to file for Unemployment Insurance through the Texas Workforce Commission.
To do so, you can apply for benefits on-line at http://ui.texasworkforce.org or by calling the Tele-Center 1-800-939-6631. For information you will need in order to file, please click the following link for the brochure:
If you are self-employed, you can file for benefits at http://ui.texasworkforce.org or by calling the Tele-Center 1-800-939-6631. When disaster unemployment becomes available, TWC will contact you for further information using the contact information provided on your claim.
Some other important information for claimants:
For more information, please contact the Tele-Center at 1-800-939-6631.
Last week, he skipped an event in South Carolina to go back home and deal with the wildfires – and then left the Longhorn State to go fundraise in California, the Chicago Tribune reported at the time.
He then was widely criticized after a member of his fundraising team commented that fundraising was “going like wildfire” – a term many considered tone deaf in wake of recent events.