The hard part for many of those affected by the wildland fire east of Casper may be just beginning, and the Casper Red Cross is asking for yard tools to help the victims, the organization's spokeswoman said Monday.

"The donations we're asking for now are new rakes, shovels, leather gloves, that kind of thing so people can start sifting through to see what's left," Pat Kondas said.

The Red Cross among the agencies reaching those affected by the fire that started in a wood chip pile at the landfill Saturday evening, Kondas said.  "People have been calling in all day, asking when they can get back into see their properties."

Some of those affected have lost everything, Kondas said. "A gentleman told me he had just remodeled his house, and the only thing left standing was new door he had put in."

Wednesday, a representative from the Wyoming Insurance Department will be at the Red Cross office, 318 W. B. St.,  from noon to 5 p.m. to answer questions about property damage and insurance coverage, Kondas said Tuesday.

The Red Cross had set up its evacuation center to help fire victims at Casper College on Sunday evening, but moved it downtown Monday. She said many victims probably stayed with friends Sunday night, but they will be needing more help.

The assistance initially can include vouchers to stay two or three nights at a motel or other temporary shelter; help to contact their insurance agents; coupons for clothing and food; help with obtaining medicines and medical devices; and longer term help for placement in housing.

The Red Cross also offers counseling services for immediate and long-term needs, Kondas said.

"Kids will have nightmares, and adults, too, will have nightmares, will have symptoms, flashbacks," she said. "Feel free to come in and talk to us. We have those people available."

People can call the Red Cross at 237-8436 for information, but they need to come to the office to register for assistance, Kondas said.

When you make cash donations to the Red Cross, be sure to direct it to the fire relief efforts in Natrona County.


To keep abreast of the weather warnings, Kondas and the Natrona County Sheriff's Office urge people to register for "code red" alerts at