NewsFire Watch

Actions

Montana Red Cross opened shelter in Helena as North Hills fire forces evacuations

Posted: 6:16 AM, Jul 29, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-29 08:16:45-04

HELENA— American Red Cross of Montana opened a shelter Sunday at 7 p.m. at the First Assembly of God Church, 2210 Dodge Ave. in Helena, in response to the North Hills fire.

Overnight the fire grew to more than 2,600 acres and several neighborhoods and campgrounds have been told to evacuate.

Red Cross shelters provide meals, a safe place to stay, information and access to other community resources. Everyone is welcome at a Red Cross shelter, and all services are free. The Red Cross does not discriminate based on nationality, race, religious beliefs, class, disability, political opinions, sexual orientation or gender identity. No reservations are required. Service animals are welcome.

For up-to-date information and alerts about emergencies in your area, download the Red Cross emergency app from your app store. It’s free and available to both iPhone and Android users.

Families who need services should call the Montana Red Cross at 800-272-6668.

Red Cross urges everyone to be prepared should a wildfire occur in your area. Follow the steps below to keep your family safe.

  • Download free Wildfire app at www.redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps.
  • Gather your family or household members and delegate responsibilities.
  • Assemble an emergency kit to take with you when you evacuate. For a detailed list of items to include visit  http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies
  • Prepare an information kit with important documents like medical, banking and insurance records.
  • Save a list of emergency numbers on every cellphone.
  • Plan ahead for your pets and livestock. Ask local officials where you can bring them.
  • Identify a place to meet in case you are separated.
  • Plan and practice several evacuation routes from your neighborhood.

If an evacuation is imminent:

  •  Tune in to local radio and television stations for updated emergency information.
  • Limit exposure to smoke and dust. Keep indoor air clean by closing (but not locking) windows and doors. Close curtains, shutters, and blinds. Use the recycle mode on your air conditioner.
  • Turn on exterior lights.
  • Remove flammable items from decks and porches.
  • Open gates for animals that cannot be evacuated.
  • Connect a hose to an outside spigot, mark any water sources on your property, and leave a ladder for firefighters.
  • Put your emergency kit in your car. Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape, with windows closed and keys in the ignition.
  • Put your best driver at the wheel. Turn on lights, drive slowly and watch out for emergency vehicles.

Evacuate as soon as the order is given. Don’t delay.

HOW TO DONATE

You can help people affected by disasters like wildfires, as well as countless other crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, and other emergency assistance in response to disasters. Go to redcross.org/montana or call 1-800-272-6668 Contributions may also be sent to American Red Cross of Montana.  1300 28th St. S., Great Falls, MT 59405