Yakima Valley Fire Donations Are On Their Way to Okanogan Complex
Yakima city officials thanked local volunteers and community contributors Friday afternoon as a truckload of donated goods for crews and residents affected by the Okanogan Complex fire left the Yakima Convention Center.
Mayor Micah Cawley also singled out several dozen local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints members, who pitched in to help pack and load individual bags of toiletries and nonperishable food this week.
In all the Yakima Valley dropped off enough items to fill a 53-foot semitrailer. A second truck bound for the Okanogan Valley is filled with bottled water. Yakima-based Haney Trucking Co. is hauling the loads for free.
Local donors also chipped in cash -- about $15,000, in all, city officials reported Friday.
The drive for donations began after Assistant Mayor Kathy Coffey and Councilwoman Maureen Adkison saw appeals on social media for specific items to help Okanogan Complex firefighters, according to a city news release.
The response has been so overwhelming that officials on the front lines of the fire say they now have adequate supplies and are passing along excess items to Okanogan residents, many of who have lost their homes or have had to evacuate.
More than 1,800 firefighters are battling what has become the largest fire in Washington state history. The fire, which has blackened more than 472 square miles, was less than 20 percent contained as of Friday.