Aug 31, 2014 7:44 PM by Charlene Cheng
Since the beginning of the year, the Northeastern chapter of the American Red Cross estimates that it's assisted in almost 70 fires in the region.
"In 2014, up to this point, up until August, we opened 13 evacuation centers throughout the Northern six counties of our chapter, that's actually a lot more than we opened in all of 2013. We only opened five shelters in 2013," said Disaster Program Manager Eric Kiltz.
To do that, the Red Cross depends on help from members of the community.
96% of its workforce nationwide is volunteers.
"A lot of our volunteers, at least in Shasta County, because we don't have very many of them, they kind of take an all-hazards approach to volunteering, and people sort of do whatever is asked of them," Kiltz said.
Bob Watts has been one of these volunteers for the last six years, giving him something to do now that he's retired.
"The Red Cross's ability to respond to people in need, it gives you a feeling that you did something for people that needed help," he said.
He added that responding to the recent North State wildfires has been rewarding, but having more hands on deck would be helpful.
"I will have to say that we've been stressed, if there's anybody out there that is inclined or has though about volunteering, now would be a good time," Watts said.
There are two new volunteer orientations coming up.
The first is on Thursday, September 4, in Weaverville, followed by another on Saturday, October 4, in Redding.
You can call the Red Cross at (530) 244-8001 for more details.