Dallas, Texas (August 25, 2023) – The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) personnel and trained volunteers are providing practical support to first responders and displaced residents impacted by a dangerous wildfire in Southeast Texas. The fire broke out on Thursday afternoon, August 24 in the Shearwood Creek area of Jasper County. Local Salvation Army volunteers have mobilized at the request of local emergency management as evacuations are in place in the surrounding community.
The fire has burned approximately 3000 acres and was estimated to be 50% contained on Friday morning according to Jasper County Emergency Management. Texas continues to experience extreme drought conditions this summer having received very little rain in recent months.
Volunteers from the Jasper Service Unit, coordinated by The Salvation Army Service Extension Representative, Julie Gaucin, are partnering with the American Red Cross to set up an evacuee shelter at the Harvest Church of SE Texas in Jasper. The volunteers will be providing meals, snacks and hydration to residents who have evacuated their homes and first responders.
The Salvation Army provides a robust disaster training program and the Texas EDS team has worked diligently to provide regional training events working with staff, committed volunteers and interested community members. Trained and prepared volunteers are now in place in communities throughout the state, providing the ability and reach for The Salvation Army to better respond to local and regional emergency situations.
“Volunteers from The Salvation Army Service Unit in Jasper expressed an interest in our disaster training program. We were excited to arrange and recently teach the mobile kitchen operations class in Jasper, ultimately certifying several local volunteers. We had no idea that little more than a month later those same volunteers would be working in the mobile kitchen from The Salvation Army in Beaumont providing direct service to their community,” said Alvin Migues, EDS Director for The Salvation Army in Texas. “That’s what our training program is all about: training local people to serve in their community and beyond. We are so grateful for committed volunteers who have a passion to serve and have chosen to work with The Salvation Army and we are praying for them as they serve those impacted by the Sherwood Creek fire.”
Additional personnel and Salvation Army mobile kitchens are on standby should additional support be needed in Jasper County.
For updated disaster response information or to make a donation, go to www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Watch for regular updates on our social media pages at www.facebook.com/salvationarmytexas/ and www.twitter.com/salarmytx