If you live in Las Vegas you have most likely heard about the Carpenter 1 Fire on Mt. Charleston on the news, seen the smoke, or like us live close to the fire and are being directly affected by the smoke in the air. As of today July 11 the fire has claimed over 27,968 acres, burned 6 structures, been responsible for 1 injury, and is only 15% contained. Over 1,264 personnel (fire, police, forestry, and more) are actively working to help gain the upper hand on this fire that was started by a lightening strike on July 1st.
The city of Las Vegas seems very aware of this fire on a daily basis. The communities of Kyle Canyon, Lee Canyon, and Trout Canyon have been evacuated. James Bilray Elementary and Hafen Elementary have been designated by the Red Cross as reception centers and are open form 8am-10pm. Some local casinos have begun to offer rooms to evacuees. Even those not residents of Mt. Charleston are feeling the effects of the fires. Our home like many others has begun to smell like smoke as it leaks in from the vents, there are ashes outside our home, and both my son and my asthma has started to become an issue.
My son is aware of the fire mostly because the smoke is so heavy and his asthma is acting up, has been asking a lot of questions. When he asked how he could help the firefighters my heart melted a little. I told he he could draw a card thanking the firefighters and all people helping to try to contain this fire. We had also been told water and Gatorade were needed at the command center set up at Centennial High School. My son asked me we could bring fruit instead, and I was happy to take him to the store to buy some.
Once we got to Centennial High School it became very clear that they are being overwhelmed by the amount of water and Gatorade donations. To see all the donations they have recieved was amazing. Car after car was still dropping off donations as I arrived this afternoon. At the donations drop off site I spoke to a firefighter who told me that while the donations are very much appreciated, they have too many at this time.
Two kind Forest Service members talking to my son about the fires, how he can help, and what to do if he ever sees a fire.
I asked him how local Las Vegas could help, and he said that handmade cards by kids or handwritten notes of thanks were always accepted and greatly appreciated. He asked that we spread the word that water and Gatorade donations have been met and if people still wanted to help donate in some way that they do so via The 52 Club.
The 52 Club is the Wildland Firefighter Foundation that sends money directly to the fallen or injured firefighter’s families (like the 19 firefighters lost in the Yamell Arizona fire.) The $52 annual donation (or $1 per week) helps support the families of firefighters for a longer period of time as well as provide emergency financial and emotional assistance.
How Can You Help?
They do NOT need any further water or Gatorade donations. You can help by making a donation to The 52 Club or by writing a thank you card or having your kids bring pictures/cards of support to Centennial High School located at 10200 Centennial PKWY, Las Vegas, NV 89149. You can always donate to the local Red Cross chapter of Southern Nevada as well. Please spread the word about how you can help to friends and family wanting to make donations in Las Vegas.
For More Information:
A public meeting will be held Thursday, July 11, 2013 at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area Visitor Center 5:30 p.m. The center is located off Charleston Blvd. (SR 159). A Joint Information Center is in operation. All calls should be directed to (702) 799-4610.
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