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MN Red Cross deploys volunteers to west coast wildfires

The Minnesota Red Cross is sending much needed help to the hundreds of thousands of people impacted by the wildfires out west. 12 volunteers hit the road today.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn — Wildfires continue to ravage the west coast. The latest numbers show over 25 people have died and dozens more are missing.  

Hundreds of thousands of people are under evacuation orders in cities across California, Washington and Oregon. With no end in sight, the need for help and supplies is overwhelming which is why the Minnesota Red Cross is stepping up.

"We're going to make sure people have a safe place to stay, we're going to make sure they have food, we're going to connect them with our volunteer nurses and mental health professionals to help them with the difficult time," said Carrie Carlson-Guest of the Minnesota Red Cross. 

RELATED: Western wildfires: Dangerous air and misinformation spreads, with death toll over 25

12 volunteers from the Red Cross of Minnesota are heading west to help as many people impacted by the deadly wildfires as they can. They are looking to help people like Jason Ritter and his family who live in Molalla, Oregon, a town where thousands of people already evacuated.

"We had heavy smoke almost unbearable. It was much like what you think it would be like on mars," said Ritter. "The red glow in the sky ... it being dark at 9 ... 10 o'clock in the morning, but not seeing a lot of flames from the fire itself."

Jason says when you see the flames it's too late. 

"Don't take that chance if you can get out ... go be safe, breathe good air and do it... because this is what it is," said Ritter. 

The hardest part for Jason is not knowing what's to come, but knowing help is on the way to those in need may provide some relief.

"We're so grateful for all of our volunteers they are getting up they are leaving their friends and family behind for at least two weeks sometimes even their beloved pets … taking off to make sure perfect strangers have some comfort," said Carlson-Guest. "They feel privileged that in that moment and in the dark moments they get to be there and help people"

The Red Cross of Minnesota has deployed nearly 150 people over the 30 days in disasters across the country. They anticipate sending even more out west in the days to come.

They are always in need of donations. If you would like to help click here!


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