Red Cross shelters struggling to keep up this fire season - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Red Cross shelters struggling to keep up this fire season

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Red Cross shelters are stretched thin. Red Cross shelters are stretched thin.
STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. -

Firefighters in Stevens County say that two large wildfires have merged into one.  They've put the Coyote Canyon Fire and the Carpenter Road Fire together, and it's now called the Carpenter Road Fire. It's burning in Stevens County, and on part of the Spokane Tribe Reservation. Now, The Red Cross, something dozens of people there are counting on after they're forced out of their homes is struggling to keep up.

The high school gym in Hunters, Washington, is normally home of the Wolverines, but Monday night, people are sleeping on cots there. Some people left Monday because their evacuations were lifted.  Those left waiting don't know yet if their home is standing or not.

As more homes burn across the northwest,the Red Cross is setting up new shelters for the people left behind, but they only have so many volunteers.

Chuck Boehme, a Red Cross volunteer, told KHQ, "We're short on people. We're getting people wherever we can."

Richard Clark is an evacuee. He doesn't know if his home is still standing.

"It's incredibly depressing. I don't know if I still have a home to return to, or if it's just ashes," Clark said. He's been there since Friday.

Maryann Rickers saved her 52 goats this week but doesn't know if her small family farm will make it. Now the small cot at the shelter is her home.

Rickers explained, "You know, its not what we want. All we want is to go home. At times we hear the fire's doing well but then we hear from neighbors tell you the fire's still pretty much roaring."

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