The message is simple: if you’re an evacuee of the Sequoia Complex Fire, come to Porterville College for help.
The Red Cross set up temporary evacuation points (TEP) at Porterville College, as well as the Exeter Memorial Building, to assist with those evacuating the Sequoia Complex Fire, and they want everyone to know they’re there to help.
“Right now we are there 24/7,” Red Cross Regional Communications Manager, Nicole Maul, said. “And if that changes, I can assure you it’s not a decision made in a vacuum and it’s based on what’s going on. Families need us. Please, please do come by. And (do) anything you can to encourage folks who may need assistance to come. Everyone is welcome. Super important to share that.”
On Monday morning, Tulare County Sherriff Mike Boudreaux issued a voluntary evacuation warning for Springville and that affects anyone in the Springville area between Globe Drive and Balch Park Road.
The Sequoia Complex Fire, which includes the Castle Fire has burned 90,845 acres and is 12 percent contained. According to the Sequoia National Forest, “as of Monday, September 14, the Castle Fire has reached the southern boundary of Sequoia National Park.”
At the Porterville College and Exeter Memorial Building TEPS, the Red Cross’ priority is to get evacuees assistance with shelter and food.
“When a disaster affects a community, the mission of the Red Cross
is to meet those immediate needs, and that would be safe shelter and food,” Maul said. “So that’s what we take care of. But we know that sometimes there may be people who need additional resources and that’s why we work closely with the county and other nonprofits who can help bring more resources to the table for additional needs.”
COVID-19 is creating some challenges for the Red Cross, but the focus is still on the safety of evacuees.
“We’ll ask that you wear a face covering,” Maul said.
“We’re going to ask you some screening questions but really we’re going to take down your name and your information and what your family’s needs are, and then get you into safe shelter, safe housing for the time being.”
Maul said the Red Cross currently has all the supplies, food, and drinks they need at this time but monetary donations are always welcome.
“If someone is looking to make an impact, they can always make a donation at Redcross. org,” Maul said. “That allows us to meet needs in terms of getting people into hotels during the fires.”
For more information about the Sequoia Complex Fires and evacuations, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7048.
Red Cross information is also available at https://www. redcross. org/ local/ california/ central-california. Red Cross can also be found on Twitter and Facebook with the handle @ Redcrossccr or by searching “American Red Cross Central California Region.”