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Red Cross deploys local worker to assist fire victims in California

Fires are raging in the Western United States, uprooting people from their homes and causing untold millions of dollars in damages.

Joplin-area Red Cross worker Kim Mailes of Neosho has been deployed to a shelter in Northern California.

He says the displaced families’ needs vary.

“Last night the Red Cross provided 530 people with shelter for the night,” Mailes says.

“We also provide three meals a day and have disaster health services for their physical needs,” he comments.

He says those arriving at the shelters have suffered serious emotional blows.

“These people are under extreme stress,” Mailes says. “We also have disaster mental health and spiritual health.”

Mailes says since June, the Red Cross has provided nearly 12,000 overnight stays for people affected by the wildfires in eight western states and Minnesota.

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