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Team Rubicon helping fire victims in Pateros

John Hendricks

John Hendricks is a news reporter with KXLY-TV in Spokane, WA.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0CkH6ynnNg?list=UUyw-NpaizmAD_5qQJ4MieVg&w=560&h=315]

PATEROS, Wash. – The town of Pateros has a long road to recovery after the Carlton Complex fire ripped through the area more than two weeks ago, but Team Rubicon is helping residents pick up the pieces.Team Rubicon is in Pateros, coming from all across the country, to sift through the burnt homes and get the town back to normal.

“These victims here have lost everything basically,” Team Rubicon Incident Commander Bob Obernier said.

These men and women have been working on coordinating the recovery efforts for the city.

“We’re helping them sift through and find some of those things and those are healing things for them,” Obernier said. “It’s been healing to the community and it has also been good for us.”

Team Rubicon assembled four days after the fire ripped through Paterous. The men and women in the small Central Washington town are military veterans and first responders, all volunteering their time to help this city recover.

“The devastation, it’s real, it’s out there, there are over 300 plus homes in the county that have been burned down to the ground,” Obernier said.

The team has been organizing hundreds of volunteers, helping folks sift through the debris and is keeping track of every hour worked, every penny spent and every person helped. The group which does not charge the city for their efforts, collects all that information to help get federal money for the recovery.

“We’re helping them put those together so when FEMA does come in for that declaration they’ll be ready,” Obernier said.