WESTERN OKLA.—Dry climate paired with powerful winds combined to make dangerous fire conditions as wildfires swept the state beginning Thurs., April 12. Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) sprang into action immediately to provide aid to those in the line of the chaotic fires.
A DR feeding unit, which had been stationed at the Oklahoma State Capitol during the two-week teacher walkout, left the capitol and went directly to Woodward. A feeding unit from First Baptist Church of Hooker, Okla. joined the feeding efforts.
DR volunteers primarily fed firefighters working to control the blaze that swept across the western Oklahoma prairie.
“These firefighters were working 12 hours shifts and took five minutes or less to eat, so we delivered food to them out in the fields,” DR State Director Don Williams said.
According to Williams, an estimated 150 firefighters were fed near Woodward. First Baptist Church Leedey, Rhea Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Erick and Martha Road Baptist church in Altus all played vital roles in organizing feeding efforts alongside the Great Plains Baptist Association.
DR Assessors were on the road today to the towns where hundreds of thousands of acres burned.The assessors are surveying the damage and offering help to those affected by the fires.
Once assessors complete their work, DR will send “Ash Out” crews to help homeowners recover belongings from damaged homes. Oklahoma Baptist Chaplains will work to offer emotional support in communities that were in the path of the wildfires.
“Fire is a devastating thing because once it hits your home, it looks like nothing is there,” Williams said. “That’s when we come in to offer a helping hand to homeowners by helping them find keepsakes or pictures or anything that might be of value to them.”
Williams said DR officials are actively monitoring weather in Eastern Oklahoma and other parts of the state.
“We are honored to serve people in need, and we do so in the name of Jesus Christ,” he added.
For the latest updates, or to make a tax-deductible donation to Oklahoma Baptist DR, visit www.OKDisasterHelp.org.