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NESPELEM – Generous offers of donations have been received from around the region to assist the response to fires on the reservation, according to the Colville Confederated Tribes.

Tribal officials said financial contributions are the fastest, most effective and most flexible way to donate to assist fire response.

Chief Financial Officer William Nicholson II said his office is ready to accept and account for monetary donations made to the tribe to defray expenses from the current fires.

Besides the Cold Springs Fire burning on the western side of the reservation, the Inchelium Complex is burning on either side of Inchelium on the eastern edge of the reservation. The complex of three fires has burned across more than 17,000 acres.

Nicholson may be reached at 509-634-2857 or billy.nicholson.act@colvilletribes.com.

Donations can be mailed to Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Billy Nicholson, Attn: Fire Relief Fund, P.O. Box 150, Nespelem, WA 99155.

Tribal officials said donation of unsolicited goods is discouraged.

The tribe’s Emergency Operations Center often buys in bulk, with purchases through local businesses when possible, to stockpile supplies that may be needed in a crisis.

“Processing unsolicited goods which aren’t needed may burden volunteers’ ability to meet the needs of fire victims and may draw away valuable transportation and warehouse space,” said a tribal announcement.

Tammy James, the tribe’s director of employment and education, can confirm what items may be needed. She can be reached at tammy.james.adm@colvilletribes.com or 509-634-2777.

Donations of non-perishable food items and approved goods are being accepted. Donations may be made at the Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program office, 37 Lake St., on the Nespelem agency campus.

Items can be dropped off from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. until capacity is reached. The program can be reached at 509-634-2770 or 509-634-2796.

Donations also can be taken to the Omak Community Center, Fifth Avenue and Benton Street, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday until capacity is reached.

People are asked to call ahead to either location, since staff is doing sanitization because of COVID-19.

People who need assistance because of the fires can contact the tribal Emergency Operations Center at 509-634-7350. You may also contact the usual numbers for emergency assistance if you face a situation of immediate danger.

Suggested donation items include non-perishable food, bottled drinks, pet supplies (Nespelem location only), sleeping bags, blankets, pillows and pillow cases, personal hygiene products, paper products (towels, toilet paper, paper plates, napkins, etc.), batteries, lanterns, cleaning supplies and ice coolers.

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