Carpenter 1 fire strains Red Cross finances - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Carpenter 1 fire strains Red Cross finances

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A sign directs evacuees to a shelter at a Las Vegas school on July 8, 2013. (FOX5) A sign directs evacuees to a shelter at a Las Vegas school on July 8, 2013. (FOX5)
MT. CHARLESTON, NV (FOX5) -

A wildfire that has been burning near Mt. Charleston for more than a week is putting a strain on the finances of the American Red Cross.

A lightning strike started the blaze in the Carpenter Canyon area on the western side of the mountain July 1. Since then, more than 15,000 acres have been charred and more than 500 residents have been evacuated.

The Southern Nevada chapter of the American Red Cross set up two shelters to help evacuees - one at Hafen Elementary School in Pahrump and the other at James Bilbray Elementary School in Las Vegas.

Lloyd Ziel, public information officer for the local Red Cross chapter, said the agency had already spent nearly $300,000 on helping the victims of house fires in the Las Vegas Valley. He said the response efforts because of the wildfire will result in additional spending.

"The Red Cross of Southern Nevada continue to convene and reach out to community partners to respond to the Carpenter 1 fire, and is working with those organizations to begin a community recovery plan moving forward," Ziel said in a statement.

Since the wildfire started, the 49 Red Cross volunteers have provided 515 meals and shelter to people and pets.

Anyone who wants to donate to the American Red Cross can call 800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767) or go to redcross.org. People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

As of 8 a.m., the fire had grown to 15,268 acres and was 15 percent contained, according to inciweb.org, a website used to share information about the fire. Firefighters said Monday that they estimate the fire will be contained by July 19.

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