Red Cross opens shelter

The local Red Cross chapter moved their check-in center from the Mancos School Performing Arts Building to Cortez High School on Sunday.

Residents can get food, water and more information about the fire at the school, which will be open to shelter evacuees in need of a place to stay.

About 65 evacuees were checked in with the Red Cross by Sunday afternoon, and Cindi Shank, executive director of the Southwest Colorado chapter of the American Red Cross, urged those who had not checked in already to do so.

Shank said 16 volunteers and two Red Cross staff members were running the check-in center. Because the Red Cross requires a background check for volunteers 24 hours in advance, people can not just show up to volunteer on the spot, she said.

Those who would like to offer donations can bring water, Gatorade, and food items such as protein bars to the school.

The Red Cross can not accept clothing, furniture or food that is not cooked in a commercial kitchen such as baked goods and homemade meals, Shank said. Pre-packaged food such as a box of crackers is acceptable.

The phone number for an evacuation information line is 564-4999.

“Don’t feel like you need to stay in your house,” Shank said Saturday. “Nothing is as important as your life.”

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