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Ahead of the curve: Arizona Red Cross prepping for fire season

PHOENIX — The Grand Canyon Chapter of the Red Cross has started shipping supplies and equipment to locations across the state to be in position to respond quickly to wildfire emergencies.

Todd Tamcsin with Red Cross said the prepositioned trailers will allow the volunteers to get shelters up and running quickly if wildfires force evacuations.

“We have diapers, clothes, basic dry good supplies, obviously cots and more,” Tamcsin said. “We’ll be able to unload the trailers and set up our tables and chairs and be ready for business in short order. We currently have about 800 volunteers in the state. … We can get a shelter up in about 2 hours.”

The Red Cross helped hundreds of evacuees during last year’s Yarnell Hill fire, which destroyed dozens of homes, forced evacuations and left 19 firefighters dead.

Arizona Red Cross volunteers also responded last year to the aftermath of Typoon Haiyan in the Philippines and the massive tornado in Moore, Okla.