While not in harm’s way at Veranda Beach, our hearts and prayers continue to be with the thousands affected by Washington’s wildfires this summer. We concur with Governor Jay Inslee that the Washington blazes have “burned a big hole in our state’s heart” and we marvel at the incredible outpouring of that same heart!
Largest Fire in History
The Okanogan Complex fire is the largest fire in Washington State history now encompassing some 300,000+ acres. The fire is being fought by more than 1200 firefighters from as far away as Australia and is only 10% contained.
Three firefighters lost their lives as they battled with their teams to keep others safe. Our hearts and prayers go out to their families and loved ones. We cannot begin to express our thanks and appreciation for all firefighters everywhere who continue to put themselves at risk to keep our homes, county and own friends and families safe.
A Number of Washington Homes Lost
Again, while we are in no danger at Veranda Beach, the fires have taken many homes including the family home of one of our Veranda Beach Crew in the Tonasket area. They will need our help now, and for many days to come.
Despite the incredible sense of loss and fatigue, our county has come together in this time of need. From flying red balloons, filling small red wagons, hand painting rocks and preparation of personal care packages, to hundreds of thousands in donations to local businesses to look after our firefighters, we are #OkanaganStrong! Many of our Veranda Beach Crew assist daily with moving horses and helping out relatives and friends.
We are monitoring the fire situation and in touch with those coordinating assistance efforts to ascertain how we can best help.
If you wish to be of assistance in any small way, please contact Rhonda Hinkley, the General Public Liaison at 509-429-9328 or direct message her on Facebook. Furthermore, any organized groups that would like to join the volunteer effort in the many areas needed from the distribution center in Tonasket, please send your contact information via direct message to Rhonda on Facebook and a volunteer coordinator will contact you. “We have only been into this for a little over a week and we have a long way to go,” reports Rhonda. “Any help to ‘spell’ our faithful volunteers and give them a break would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for all the outpouring of support and prayers we are experiencing!”
Summer at the Beach despite the Wildfires
In spite of some pretty smoky days at Veranda (and throughout the Okanogan), life carries on at the Beach. Over the last two days visibility has improved greatly and Homeowners and Guests are at the beach, on the lake, in the pool, playing volleyball, on the golf course and some dedicated fitness buffs are even out cycling and jogging again. The forecast is for improved conditions in the days ahead.
Another great way to help is to continue to visit our beautiful state of Washington, to support our local businesses, and aid in economic recovery. While we are most certainly #OkanoganStrong, we welcome all the support offered by neighbors far and wide. And thank you for it with all our hearts.