Moved with compassion for the 11 families who lost their homes in the Oak Knoll fire Tuesday, the Southern Oregon community is coordinating efforts to help the victims.
Firehouse 5 Foundation is collecting monetary donations at Ashland Fire Station 1, 455 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. Donations also can be mailed to the foundation at P.O. Box 1401, Talent, OR 97540.
The Southern Oregon chapter of the American Red Cross is accepting monetary and other donations at www.soredcross.org and 60 Hawthorne St., Medford, OR 97504. It can be reached at 541-779-3773.
Make sure you write checks out to the Southern Oregon chapter, said Emergency Services Director Antone Hernandez. Otherwise, the money will go to the national Red Cross fund instead of being used in Southern Oregon, he said.
The Ashland Community Emergency Response Team has been inundated with calls from residents.
"We've definitely gotten a lot of calls from people wanting to help out," said CERT coordinator Richard Randleman. "We just don't know what the needs are yet."
He said he would have a better idea of how volunteers can help today.
Those who are interested in helping with relief efforts may call Randleman at 541-552-2226 or visit CERT's website, www.ashlandcert.org, for updates on the need for volunteers and donations.
Southern Oregon Goodwill is giving out $100 vouchers to victims of the blaze. Victims may shop for clothes, household items and other needs at any of Goodwill's stores, said Suzy Lewis, vice president of retail and operations at Southern Oregon Goodwill.
"We don't know what their needs are so we thought it would be better to let them go into the stores and select what they need," Lewis said.
Victims can obtain the vouchers from the Red Cross, she said.
Bear Creek Animal Clinic has offered to temporarily take in pets affected by the fire.
Pets can be taken to the clinic for safekeeping at 1955 Ashland St.
The clinic will provide Ashland Fire & Rescue with a list of all animals received so families can retrieve lost pets.
For information regarding pets lost in connection with the fire, call Ashland Fire & Rescue at 541-482-2770 or Bear Creek Animal Clinic at 541-488-0120.
Reach reporter Paris Achen at 541-776-4459 or e-mail email@example.com.