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Amid fires’ wrath, C. Oregonians step up to help


With fires near Warm Springs and John Day blazing, many people have been wondering how they can help those communities and those hit hardest by the devastating fires — while many are stepping up to do just that.

One example: Members of the Prineville, Redmond, Bend and Madras communities are now accepting donations on behalf of those who are in need during this time.

If anyone has food, water, clothing, furniture, toiletries and even back-to-school supplies that they would like to donate, the Eagles Lodge and Club of Prineville, Thomas Sales and Service Ford of Madras and Approved Auto of both Bend and Redmond are accepting those donations.

Jeff Bowden, business manager at Thomas Sales and Service Ford of Madras, said, “We like to be very active in the community, and we know that the residents of Warm Springs are going through quite an ordeal here.

“So we’d like to fill up a vehicle here with food and clothing that are donated to them, to be a designated drop spot here in Madras. And from there, we’ll make sure it gets taken down to the community center in Warm Springs to the people in need.”

For more information you may contact Beverly Timmer at .

Meanwhile, Chris and Chemese Christianson of Bend said on KTVZ’s Facebook page they are collecting items for victims of the Canyon Creek Complex and delivering them on Tuesday to John Day.

They are gathering items from sheets and pillows to garbage bags and small kitchen appliances, asking people to bring them to the Legacy Realty Office in Redmond at 515 W. Antler Avenue. Call Chamese with questions at 541-279-1895.

“Hopefully we can be a part of lightening the heartache to these families who have had to endure such a devastating disaster,” she wrote.

More notes of assistance:

–The Humane Society of the Ochocos Thrift Store is accepting donations for both Warm Springs and John Day fires. “We are sorting, boxing and labeling so we can meet the needs presented to us as quickly as possible. The first load went out today (Monday) 260 NW 2nd st. Prineville. 10:00-5:30 Monday thru Saturday.

–Papa Murphy’s in Prineville is starting a fund for the Grant County fire. For the next few Thursdays, 8/20 8/27 and 9/3 for every transaction made the store will donate $1 toward Grant County. The manager there Mistie Gibbs wants word spread. Also if people don’t want to make a purchase they can also leave a donation there as well.

Formal relief organizations like the American Red Cross Cascades Chapter also are gathering monetary donations as they help with emergency shelters in fire-hit areas.

Animals also have needs in times of crisis like wildfires.

Among those helping: the Pet Evacuation Team(P.E.T.) was called to assist animal owners in Warm Springs during the County Line 2 Fire.

A staging area was set up adjacent to the Community Center in Warm Springs, but had to be evacuated when a Level 2 evacuation notice was issued for the West Hills area, close to the Community Center.

The P.E.T. site was relocated to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Madras and assisted by housing a dozen companion animals in the indoor arena area.

“All of those animals have been returned to their owners, and P.E.T. is in communication with the Red Cross and Warm Springs officials for updates on any animal-related needs,” said Jamie Scanlon-Kanski, regional coordinator.

“There may be ongoing evacuations which requires animal sheltering and care.,” she added. “Arrangements are being made for provisions of additional water tanks at the rodeo grounds for horses and hay if needed. P.E.T. also received a generous offer through Big R corporate of animal related donations for this incident.”

If there are residents of Warm Springs who are in need of pet food or large animal food and supplies, please contact P.E.T. at 541-610-6628. If the public would like to help with donations for the animals, please visit their website at to make a secure donation, or donations may be brought to the Mail and More store in Redmond, Mon-Fri. 8-6 or Saturdays 9-1. It is located at 527 NE Elm Avenue, Suite 3 or email us at to make arrangements for donation pickups.

Suggested items are high quality dog and cat foods, crates, hay, water troughs, x-pens or blankets. The Pet Evacuation Team is a 501 c 3 organization assisting animals during disasters or in cases of cruelty and neglect.

Giving wisely, avoiding rip-offs key

As firefighters work to contain wildfires throughout the Northwest, Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Western Washington and Oregon warns of scams and complaints that circulate when natural disasters strike.

Wildfires can sometimes prompt scammers to take advantage of those who are eager to help so BBB is reminding donors to give wisely. Keep in mind con artists impersonate legitimate entities using materials with borrowed names and logos. Hold back from charitable solicitors that:

Demand donations using threats, aggressive tactics or deadlines.
Only accept cash donations or checks made out to them personally.
Can’t explain what kind of relief will be offered, how it will be distributed, who will benefit, when it will be allocated and what percentage of donations benefit causes.

Be wary of cybercriminals who target those looking for news updates and wanting to help. While online, be careful of:

Search engine results from unknown or untrustworthy websites.
Unsolicited emails, instant messages and social media posts from unknown senders.
Videos or news stories with unusual or shocking headlines.

Protect computers, click carefully and guard personal data. Ensure that anti-virus software, security patches and firewalls are installed, active and up-to-date.

BBB advises consumers to contact potential charities directly.

Valuable information can be found online at, a website run by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

If a consumer feels he has been the victim of a scam, he is urged to report his experience on BBB’s Scam Tracker.

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