WENATCHEE — Four members of a family from the scorched Tarpiscan Canyon area were the first evacuees to seek emergency relief in a shelter set up here Saturday by the Apple Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross.
The family arrived at the shelter Saturday evening to find a sleeping area, showers, meals and updates on the Colockum Tarps Fire, which has burned an estimated 10,000 acres, destroyed five homes and torched scores of outbuildings since it began Saturday morning. The family’s names were not released.
Red Cross Executive Director Marriah Thornock said this morning that the shelter at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 508 N. Western Ave., was prepared to accept more residents of the area driven from their homes by the growing wildfire.
“We’re hearing more people are on the way” as they learn the fates of their homes and outbuildings or are blocked by fire operations from returning to their properties, Thornock said.
The shelter will remain open as long as necessary, she said.
On Saturday, Red Cross volunteers and local church members served more than 650 breakfast and lunch meals to first responders to the fire. Since then, state crews at the fire camp at Pioneer Middle School in Wenatchee have prepared and served meals, Thornock said.
Thornock also encouraged residents to download the free Red Cross wildfire app, available at iTunes and Google Play app stores. It features fire news and updates, including state-by-state fire Twitter feeds, along with tips on preparing for fires and handling fire emergencies.