Norcross, GA — At least 100 firefighters have been in South Georgia battling wild fires in the Okefenokee Swamp region for the past several weeks. According to the Georgia Forestry Commission, nearly 148,000 acres have been consumed by the multiple blazes which were started by lightning strikes to parched vegetation. Prematurely hot weather coupled with the fires’ impact has made The Salvation Amy’s Emergency & Disaster Services response a necessary part of fighting these fires.
The Salvation Army Georgia Division has deployed its Vidalia, GA canteen (mobile feeding unit) to serve 50 residents who have evacuated to a Red Cross Shelter in Charlton County as well as the firefighters serving there. The Vidalia canteen has been outfitted with enough food and beverages to offer three (3) meals per day.
Sandy Roberts, Director of the Vidalia Service Center said, “In a season where we are preparing for hurricanes, another natural disaster requires us to respond to a detrimental combination of dry heat and lack of rain. We are here to provide food, water and other assistance to firefighters, volunteers, and affected individuals for as long as they need us.”
The canteen’s incident commander, Charlene Sears reported that the staffed canteen will start serving the Racepond Fire area June 16 at lunch. Rather than locating the canteen onsite, it will be stationed at the Charleton County Recreation Center at 252 Little Phoebe Church Road, Folkston, GA. From there, meals will be transported for The Salvation Army to the firefighters. They will receive bagged lunches consisting of sandwiches and drinks making them easily portable for firefighters who stay on the move.
The Army is projected to serve approximately 35 breakfast meals, 60 lunches, and 150 meals per day and will be prepared for any increased demands.
For information on ways to assist The Salvation Army in meeting the needs of the victims of the wildfires, persons may call 1-800-SAL-ARMY, visit our website at http://www.salvationarmygeorgia.org. In order to meet the specific needs of fire victims in affected areas monetary donations are being accepted. The Salvation Army is currently not accepting donations of clothing and furniture for storm victims; please forward these donations to The Salvation Army Family Store nearest you.
Director of Public Relations
The Salvation Army Georgia Division