Sunday, February 13, 2011

White Swan Fire

(written by Joshua Tsavatewa)

Chris and I drove around White Swan and visited people this morning/afternoon. I made a map that shows which areas were damaged. Most of the town and Totus Park were spared. The fire fortunately missed the Cougar Den with their above ground propane tanks. Seventeen houses burned down, of which sixteen were occupied. The town has water and parts have electricity. The parts that don't have power should have power by this evening. Everyone can get back into town except for the Coburn Loop neighborhood which has lots of downed power lines.

Click Here to see the map.

The fire spread quickly because of the high winds: winds from 50-60 miles an hour with gusts up to 70. The wind also tore shingles and tar paper off of lots of buildings. Probably half of the houses around White Swan have roof damage. Some were missing half the shingles.

Chris and I spoke with one lady who told us she saw the fire heading straight to her house. She started praying in Jesus' name and as she prayed the wind changed direction and the fire turned northeast and missed her house. She was crying and very encouraging to us.

The immediate needs in the community are not as severe as we had feared, but lots of homes need roofing and there's also a need for homes. Chris is in talks with the Tribal Emergency Group and with Mission to North America about what work needs to be done and what needs we can meet.

Thankfully, most of the town was spared and we have heard of no major injuries or fatalities. Thanks for your prayers. If you'd like to make a donation to help those displaced by the fire/wind, send a tax-deductible donation marked "Mercy Ministry" to:

Sacred Road Ministries
22116 SE 51st Place
Issaquah, WA 98029.