Following another devastating wildfire season, the Carlton Complex Long Term Recovery Group has expanded its scope of operations to include the victims of this summer's Okanogan, North Star, and Lime Belt Complex fires under the new name Okanogan County Long Term Recovery Group (OCLTRG).
The OCLTRG will also work very closely with Chelan County, which was impacted by two fires, and Ferry, Stevens, and Pend Oreille counties on recovery efforts.We will still operate under the fiscal sponsorship of the Community Foundation of North Central Washington, and will still remain dedicated to providing disaster case management, volunteer coordination, unmet need fulfillment, and rebuilding homes for people who can't afford to rebuild on their own--whether they were victims of the 2014 or 2015 wildfires in Okanogan County.
This year's fire-affected areas have already established their own local Long Term Recovery Organizations, and each one has a seat on the Okanogan County Long Term Recovery Board. The new LTROs include Omak/Okanogan LTRO, Tonasket/Oroville LTRO, Chelan LTRO, and the Colville Tribe. They join representatives from the Methow LTRO, the Pateros/Brewster LTRO, and the Malott/Chiliwist area.
Meanwhile, work continues on Phase One reconstruction, as well as clean-up from this year's fires. Our amazing volunteers from North Creek Presbyterian Church, of Mill Creek, Washington, are shown above working on their FIFTH rebuild--with the help of volunteers from Christian Public Service. Through the month of October, we've also got volunteers from Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, Christian Disaster Relief, Team Rubicon, the Dawn Patrol, the Faith Assembly of Lacey, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM), and Mennonite Disaster Services--all providing site clean-up, debris removal, fence repair, new home construction, and more. Thank you, volunteers!
In the video below, Rylan Holdeman, house parent and crew leader for CPS, talks about why he and his young men are committed to serving their country--by serving others.
FEMA approves Public Assistance; again denies Individual Assistance
In a statement issued Wednesday, October 21, Jon Wyss, chairman of the Okanogan County Long Term Recovery Group (OCLTRG), thanked the Federal Emergency Management Agency for issuing a Public Assistance (PA) declaration--which will initiate assistance to state and local governments for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. Two days later, however, Wyss spoke for the OCLTRG in expressing extreme disappointment at the rejection of our request for Individual Assistance for a second straight year:
"We need answers from FEMA as to why appeals for individual assistance for farmers, ranchers, families, and tribal members within the impacted areas continue to fall on deaf ears. While we are appreciative of the Public Assistance declaration to help rebuild our public infrastructure, we still have people searching for homes to live in from last year’s Carlton Complex Fire. Their search has only been complicated by the devastation and loss of homes from the 2015 fires. And now even more families are displaced.
“The people of Okanogan County are resilient and the Okanogan County Long Term Recovery Group (OCLTRG), in partnership with the county’s various Long Term Recovery Organizations, will take the place of FEMA for a second straight year to assist those in need through our disaster case management system.
“The OCLTRG will be working closely with the county elected officials, the Governor, our federal and state delegation, and additional agencies to ensure funding and staff are available to help lift our impacted communities from the ashes to recovery, just as we did last year with the Carlton Complex Fires.
“On behalf of the OCLTRG I would like to thank all of our elected officials and government agencies for working with the OCTLRG so closely on the application for the FEMA declaration and for their continued support of our recovery organization.”
Treats for recovery this Halloween!
Cascade Radio Group, Classic Rock radio station KISM, and Farmstrong Brewing Company are teaming up to present a Haunted Halloween Bash for all ages on Saturday, October 31, at Farmstrong Brewery in Mt. Vernon, Washington. The brewery opens at noon with pumpkin and Halloween bag painting until 3:00, when the merchants of the Mt. Vernon downtown business district host trick-or-treating. There will be a pet costume contest at 5:00 p.m.; then dancing to the Naughty Blokes in the beer garden beginning at 7:30. A two-legged costume contest will be judged between sets, at 8:30. $1 of each beer purchase will benefit Okanogan County Long Term Recovery (that's us!), and on-air promotions will encourage listeners to leave a treat on our website: www.okanogancountyrecovery.com/donate.
Thank you, Al Coyle, Cascade Radio, KISM, Farmstrong Brewing Company, and the Naughty Blokes (pictured above)!
Thanks for keeping us going
If there's a silver lining to the disasters we have experienced the last two summers, it is the outpouring of support and generosity we have received from friends we never knew we had.Your support is--literally--what keeps us going. Thank you so much for all you do. Please consider making an online gift through the Community Foundation of North Central Washington--the most cost-effective way to make sure your dollars stay in the region. Your donation is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. We're grateful for your support!