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Fire Community Bands Together For Resources, Animals, Mental Health

Elaine Thompson
AP Photo
A DC-10 air tanker pulls up after dropping fire retardant over a wildfire Saturday, July 19, 2014, near Carlton, Washington.

The Carlton Complex fire has consumed 300 homes in north-central Washington, the Okanogan County sheriff said Friday. It’s too soon for many people to know what they lost in the fire, including homes, orchards, livestock and pets.

Fire spokesperson Joni Quarnstrom says other counties have stepped in to help.

“They really are starting to focus on mental health of people in the community, and that’s everybody in the community. Even if your house wasn’t burned, you’ve just gone through a major ordeal, either watching your neighbor’s home burn or worrying about your own house,” Quarnstrom said.

Residents of Carlton, Pateros and Okanogan are banding together, organizing deliveries for food and tools, and helping people in neighboring towns. Facebook has become a major resource. The Okanogan County Fire Contact Page is the unofficial directory for lists of needed items and lost-and-found animals as well as alerts for residents.