Oak Harbor native calls for help for Colorado Springs
June 27, 2012 · 10:07 AM
The huge wildfire raging in Colorado may look impressive on TV, but it becomes more personal when you hear from a native of Oak Harbor who is in the middle of helping the volunteers who are battling the conflagration.
Michael Babb, Oak Harbor High School Class of 1977, said by telephone Wednesday morning that he is a Red Cross volunteer who lives in Colorado Springs. While he lives on the south side of the city and the blaze is threatening the north end, he’s been very busy as a volunteer.
The semi-retired personal chef is cooking meals for the firefighters battling the roaring fire, as well is the 30,000 refugees scattered around town, mainly in high schools and other civic buildings.
Babb said 15,000 acres have burned so far and last night the well known Flying W Ranch, known by many for its equestrian outdoor experiences, went up in flames. “It’s gone,” he said sadly.
Even the Air Force Academy has been required to evacuate. “It’s unbelievable,” Babb said of the weather conditions. Yesterday, the temperature was 101 degrees, which he described as “unheard of” in the area, and winds whipped the flames at 65 mph.
While the fire at the north end is most threatening, everyone in Colorado Springs is affected, he said. “It’s very, very smoke everywhere,” he said. When not cooking, he’s handing out bottles of water to anyone in need.
Babb called the Whidbey News-Times because supplies are running short and more donations are needed.
“I know the people of Oak Harbor and I love Oak Harbor,” Babb said. “I know how generous they are.”
His mother, Bev Babb, still lives in town and worked for many years for the Whidbey News-Times.
Michael Babb directs folks to the KOAA TV website for donation directions. The Red Cross is accepting cash donations at http://redcrosss.org, or donate $10 by texting REDCROSS to 90999.
Pikes Peak Humane Society is accepting cash donations at http://hsppr.org.
The Salvation Army is accepting donations at http://imsalvationarmy.org.
Oak Harbor residents who want to contact Michael Babb personally can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.