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Red Cross sends Alaska volunteer to California fires

Published: Oct. 13, 2017 at 11:51 AM AKDT
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The Red Cross of Alaska is sending a Disaster Workforce Specialist to California to assist with volunteer coordination with the devastating wildfires still burning across the state.

Maria Caruso left Alaska Thursday afternoon to assist.

She says her duties will include being responsible for making sure volunteers know where they’re working, where they’re staying, and how to get in touch with them, as well as assisting volunteers with any issues that come up.

Caruso told Channel 2 Thursday morning that she expects to be there for about two weeks, because that’s how long a typical Red Cross deployment lasts, but it could be longer.

She says some Alaskans have already returned from hurricane-stricken areas like the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“This is the worst disaster season that we’ve had in probably over 100 years – hurricane season since 1980,” Caruso said. “I think people get burned out from the number of disasters, Our volunteers, our staff get burned out.”

In Northern California alone, the wildfires killed 32 people and destroyed about 5,700 homes and buildings, as of Friday.

She said it’s important that people are still willing to help out, whether by donating money or by becoming a volunteer.

If you’re interested in helping out with any of the disasters the Red Cross is participating in:

to donate money.

to sign up to volunteer.