High Park Fire: How you can help

Survivors – and fighters — of the High Park Fire will be in need of assistance for a while. In addition to evacuee services provided by the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Larimer County’s Disaster Recovery Center, and the Donation Collection Center at the Foothills Mall, several local organizations and businesses are offering a helping hand now and for the long term.

Advanced Animal Care of Colorado caring for displaced pets

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Advanced Animal Care, a full-service veterinary hospital in Fort Collins, has reached out to help those affected by the High Park Fire by providing free lodging for their pets. The lodging facility is currently providing temporary homes for over 60 dogs, cats and rabbits whose homes have been threatened or destroyed by the fire – many more than owner and veterinarian Dr. Heather Steyn anticipated.

Many of these animals are expected to stay at Advanced Animal Care for several weeks while their owners regroup from their losses. Some of the animals have special dietary needs or require medical care.

If you’d like to help Advanced Animal Care cover the costs of caring for displaced pets, you can make a monetary donation to the High Park Fire Pet Rescue Fund at www.advancedanimalcareofcolorado.com or facebook.com/advancedanimalcareofcolorado.

Little Poudre Family Clinic accepting, distributing donations for evacuees

Patients and members of the North Forty community have been dropping off items for High Park Fire evacuees at the Little Poudre Family Clinic, 3817 W. County Road 54G, two blocks north of the evacuation center at Cache La Poudre Middle School. The staff is distributing the donations – toiletries, clothing, bedding and other household items – in the parking lot south of the clinic. There is no food available and the clinic cannot accept food donations.

For more information, stop by during clinic hours, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m, weekends 10 a.m.-2 p.m., or call 970-472-2001.

Disaster relief kits available in Bellvue

The Pleasant Valley Church of Christ in Bellvue – the little white church across from the post office at the mouth of Rist and Poudre canyons – has a number of prepackaged kits available for High Park Fire survivors. Personal care kits, baby care kits, cleaning kits and boxes of nonperishable food items can be picked up at the church between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Preacher Marty Trujillo expects the supply of kits to last for a couple of weeks. They were put together from $100,000 worth of items sent to the church from the national Churches of Christ Disaster Relief organization in Nashville, Tenn., the week the fire started.

While the kits provide what people affected by the fire need right now, Trujillo is also looking ahead to what they will need when they finally return home and begin cleaning up and rebuilding.

“We’re collecting gift cards to the ACE Hardware in LaPorte,” he said. “They have everything anybody would need for repairs and rebuilding.”

Cards from Lowe’s or Home Depot are also gratefully accepted, but Trujillo would like to help local businesses like ACE for all they’ve already done to help out. He said LaPorte Pizza had donated space to store the relief supplies, but the church hasn’t used it yet, because American Trailer Rental on North College Avenue dropped off a storage trailer at the church for free.

The 70-pound food boxes can feed a family of four for a week, but they contain only canned and dried goods, Trujillo said. However, people have been donating fresh fruit and produce, so they are available as well. The church provides meat for sandwiches and has been feeding the nearby National Guardsmen and taking them water in the 100-degree heat. He invited firefighters or anyone in need to stop by for lunch.

“We also have a Fire Fund at the church that we can use to help out with other types of expenses, like repairs for a car that got caught in the fire,” he said.

Trujillo added that the church’s relief efforts are smaller and more grassroots than the Red Cross, but the two organizations work together.

“And we’re more convenient for folks than going out to The Ranch,” he said.

For more information, call Trujillo at 970-484-4761.

Relief fund established for firefighters

A Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department Fire Relief Fund has been established to aid the RCVFD and its 33 volunteer firefighters and first responders. One hundred percent of funds raised will go to replacing lost wages, assisting firefighters and supporting the all-volunteer fire department.

Volunteers from the RCVFD were first on the scene at the High Park Fire, and the department is one of only two in the state of Colorado that receives no tax funding. Five members of the department have lost their homes to the Risk Canyon Fire, and Rist Canyon Station No. 4 was also destroyed.

Donations can be made at www.rcvfd.org through PayPal or send a check payable to RCVFD to Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department, Fire Relief Fund, PO BOX 2, Bellvue CO 80512. Contributions are tax deductible.

Poudre Canyon and Glacier View fire departments are also fighting the High Park fire with volunteers and can use tax-deductible donations. Make checks for Poudre Canyon payable to the Cache La Poudre Fire & Emergency Group, P.O. Box 952, LaPorte, CO 80535; for Glacier View, 1414 Green Mountain Drive, Livermore, CO 80536.