As of Wednesday, August 23, 2017
QUINCY The Okanogan County Long-Term Recovery Group is ready to help Grant County residents cope with losses from the Monument Hill Fire.
Last week the blaze east of town razed two homes and destroyed numerous outbuildings, vehicles and farm machinery.
Executive Director Carlene Anders said the long-term recovery group hadn’t been asked to help, but “we would be happy to assist with our ‘pay it forward’ program if approached. We have been assisting in the Spokane area with disaster case management consulting following the flooding.”
The group was formed after the 2014 Carlton Complex fire to help Okanogan County residents who lost homes, fences, outbuildings, machinery, crops and other assets after the blaze. It expanded its scope the next year when the Okanogan Complex, Tunk Block and North Star fires caused similar damage, and when blazes also struck the Wenatchee, Chelan and Stevens County areas.
The Monument Hill Fire blackened more than 500 acres.
Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones asked people to pray “for those families who lost their homes. Pray for their recovery and pray for them to find peace during what must be a very stressful time. May they be surrounded by the love of their community as they begin to rebuild.”
He acknowledged the help of state mobilization in fighting the blaze, and Grant County Fire District No. 3 and other local and regional agencies that came to help “during a very dangerous battle Wednesday night and into Thursday morning,” Aug. 16-17. “Conditions were at their worst: High winds, dry grass and sagebrush, and darkness.
“Firefighters put themselves in harm’s way and bravely protected many homes. As I have suggested before, take a moment to thank your firefighters for what they do for you and your families.”
The Washington State Patrol and Quincy Police Department assisted Jones’ deputies by going door to door to give evacuation notices to residents whose homes were in the fire's path.
“Their help made the process move so much faster than if we had to do it alone. We appreciate their partnerships,” he said.
He also acknowledged the Grant County Public Utility District for its efforts to keep electricity on.
Jones said the fire was a good test for his new emergency management division, which was formed in January.
Grant County extends northward to the Grand Coulee area.