Red Cross opens evacuation shelter in Reedley

The refuge at Reedley College provides safe haven from the “Flash” and “Bolt” wildfires; Red Cross also provides water, snacks and other resources to those seeking shelter

The American Red Cross Central Valley Chapter activates an evacuation shelter at the Reedley College Gymnasium for residents impacted by the Flash and Bolt wildfires in east Fresno County June 26, 2024. (Serena Bettis)
Mid Valley Times Staff
Published June 26, 2024  • 
11:00 am

REEDLEY – As the “Flash” and “Bolt” wildfires have been raging in Fresno County, local residents have been on the search for safe shelter. Looking to help, the American Red Cross Central Valley Chapter has been activated to open an evacuation shelter at Reedley College at 995 N. Reed Ave. 

In partnership with Fresno County, Red Cross volunteers will help evacuees affected by the wildfires by providing them with refuge, water, snacks and additional resources. Anyone who needs assistance is encouraged to head to the shelter while residents in nearby areas are advised to be ready to evacuate.

If they have time, evacuating residents are encouraged to bring the following for each member of their family: prescription and other emergency medication, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, important documents and other comfort items. Additionally, special items for children and infants, such as diapers, formulas and toys, should be brought along with other items for family members who may have other needs. Red Cross shelters are open to everyone in need, regardless of race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation or citizenship status. All disaster assistance is free.

With these wildfires raging, the Red Cross has several instructions for residents who might have to evacuate. First, residents should be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice and must obey all evacuation orders from officials. 

If they have time, residents should follow these steps before they leave their homes. First, they should shut all the windows and doors, remove flammable window shades and curtains and close metal shutters. Residents should also move flammable furniture to the center of the room away from windows and doors. They should gather up flammable items from the exterior of the house and move them inside. These items include patio furniture, toys and trash cans. 

Residents are instructed to shut off gas at the meter, turn off pilot lights and shut off the air conditioning. Propane tanks should also be turned off and propane BBQ appliances should be moved away from structures. Residents should not leave sprinklers on or with the water running as that can affect critical water pressure. 

As they prepare to leave, residents should back their loaded car into the driveway with all the doors and windows closed. Before leaving, residents should locate their pets and take them and also ensure the emergency supply kit is in the vehicle. 

For more information about keeping safe this fire season, the free Red Cross First Aid app is available to download so residents can know what to do if emergency help is delayed. The free Emergency app can also be downloaded for weather alerts, open Red Cross shelter locations and safety steps for different emergencies. The app is available in both English and Spanish. These apps and all of the Red Cross apps can be found in smartphone app stores with a search for the American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/apps.

Mid Valley Times Staff