Officials seek fire charity on small scale | SierraSun.com

Officials seek fire charity on small scale

Julie Brown
Sierra Sun

In the wake of the Angora Fire earlier this summer, local communities went above and beyond to lend a hand to fire victims.

But following Saturday’s Washoe Fire that burned six structures and 15 acres of brush and forest, officials say they hope to address the individual needs of the victims rather than send out a general call for donations.

“My advice would be, let’s find out what the people need,” said Assistant General Manager Cindy Gustafson of the Tahoe City Public Utility District. “Because otherwise we can get overwhelmed again. Everyone was so generous last time … but it wasn’t necessarily the things they needed.”

Since the devastation of the Washoe Fire was much smaller in scale and number of victims than the Angora Fire’s, the needs may be more specific, Gustafson said. The first step is to determine who the victims are and what they need.

At a Commons Beach concert Sunday, the district raised $1,153 worth of donations for the Washoe Fire victims, Gustafson said.

“This community is overwhelmingly generous,” she said.

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The Sacramento Sierra Red Cross Chapter is responding to Washoe Fire victims on a per-family basis, if they choose to use the Red Cross for assistance, said spokeswoman Courtney Miller.

“We’re not actively soliciting donations for this because there were five homes that were lost,” Miller said. “It’s a disaster on a smaller scale for us.”

The Red Cross would sit down with each family and discuss their needs with them, and then set them up with the basic items they need to get their lives up and running again, Miller said.

“It really depends on what their basic need is,” she said.