Shelters, services are available

VALLEY – With the fire spreading, The American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming is now operating two evacuation enters and shelters related to the Spring Creek Fire. A new shelter has been opened at Huerfano Community Center, 928 Russel Street, Walsenburg.

A shelter remains open at the Blanca/Fort Garland Community Center, 17591 E. Hwy 160 in Blanca.

A messaging board will be available at the shelter location for communications. Evacuees are encouraged to report to the community center to obtain a Rapid Tag Identification card that will allow for re-entry when conditions improve for the evacuation order to be lifted. Rapid tags will be issued Friday, June 29, from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2-4 p.m.

Anybody wishing to volunteer at the shelter can contact the local Red Cross at 719-580-5120. Cash donations can be made by calling 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669) or by texting REDCROSS to 90999. 

San Luis Valley Animal Welfare Society, which has its shelter near San Luis, is offering assistance with Spring Fire evacuees who have animals. Don’t leave animals behind. SLV AWS can help.

Shelter Manager Aileen Peek said the shelter would offer space for people with their animals and asked for volunteers to help with any transportation that might be required.

She said SLV AWS would provide dog food if needed as well.

Please call first. Contact the Red Cross, which is managing the evacuation shelter at the Blanca/Fort Garland community center, at (719) 580-5120, which can coordinate with SLV AWS. Volunteers willing to assist SLV AWS may call 719-587-WOOF (9663).

Mail unable to be delivered to postal customers in the area evacuated by the Spring Fire is being held at the post office in Fort Garland, according to U.S. Postal Service Spokesman David Rupert. He said that 230 deliveries were held on Thursday, and these include general mail as well as medications and checks. To pick up their mail, residents must show identification at the Fort Garland post office. The mail will be held there until mail delivery can resume, Rupert said.

Follow @SLVEmergency or for information in Costilla County.

New public information phone line: 719-695-9573 for fire information.

                  Other local information: 719-480-8719