Boo Hage is a retired nursing instructor and American Red Cross volunteer of over two years. She is deploying to the 2,000-acre Golden Fire in Klamath County on Wednesday.
“I highly encourage more to volunteer. It’s quite an adventure, and it’s wonderful to have local people volunteer because when there’s a local disaster, seeing local faces is a really big deal for people,” Hage said.
Because of her background in nursing, Hage is often tasked with providing medical assistance to the injured.
“We put together a little medical kit that has basic medicines in case someone needs a Tylenol or a Benadryl. The other thing is a rolling bag that has a variety of other medical things such as bandages, diapers, it depends. Wound care things.”
Dawn Johnson with American Red Cross says we are likely in for a long fire season.
“This wildfire season has definitely been busier than the last. Last summer, we didn’t really see our wildfire responses kick off until late August, early September. Right now, we’re about seven times the number of shelters that we had open at the same time last summer.”
Johnson says this fire season could last well into October.
While Central Oregon is not being directly affected by wildfires right now, both Hage and Johnson recommend that people have a wildfire preparedness kit. Those should include non-perishable food, water, flashlights, blankets and medicine.
The American Red Cross recommends having a gallon of water per person daily for at least three days.
If you’re interested in volunteering for the Red Cross, you can apply for several positions here.