Valley Red Cross volunteers help with Washington wildfire relief -

Valley Red Cross volunteers help with Washington wildfire relief

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Wildfires have been raging in parts of Washington State for weeks now.

At least check nearly 200 homes have been evacuated, and tens of thousands of people worry theirs could be in danger of being destroyed.

The Grand Canyon Chapter of the American Red Cross has been called on to send help, sending two of their volunteers.

Flo Hencken walked into Sky Harbor Airport shortly before 5 a.m. Wednesday morning. The Red Cross volunteer is heading to Washington State to assist wildfire victims.

"I usually get five hours to pack," said Hencken.

This time Hencken received a few days notice; the call came last Sunday.

She and Phoenix resident Jean Currey will serve as case workers for the next three weeks. They will be stationed in Wenatchee, Washington where they will help families plan for life after a disaster.

"A lot of times the families don't really know what they need, it's an immediate impact," said Jean Currey.

Two American Red Cross volunteers from the Grand Canyon chapter returned to Phoenix from Washington State last night. Two others are there along with the two ladies who left today, each of them serving an individual purpose.

"There's a lot of different jobs to be done on these fires, everybody is trained in areas that interest them," said Todd Tacsin with the American Red Cross.

Helen Lindsey, a volunteer who is back in town, took photos in Paterson, Washington where she served for two weeks. She was a shelter worker; there was also a health services worker there.

"I think if you need to cry, you need to cry. I feel like the client appreciates the empathy," said Helen Lindsey.

Hencken worked the 9/11 attack and the Hurricane Katrina disaster. She's familiar with the tough job that lies ahead, but can only think of the people she needs to help.
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