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Stamford, Conn. – June 20, 2012 – AmeriCares is delivering 3,000 respirators and protective masks, along with a truckload of bottled water, for the raging wildfires that have destroyed more than 65,000 acres and 189 homes in northern Colorado. The respirators will protect firefighters and other first responders from inhaling ash and other dangerous particles as they battle the blaze. The 32,000 bottles of water donated by Nestle Waters North America will be provided to first responders and area residents forced to flee their homes for safety. AmeriCares is delivering the products to ACS Community L.I.F.T., a Denver-based social services agency distributing relief supplies through an emergency donation center at the Foothills Mall in Fort Collins.
“We’re responding to an urgent request for respirators to help firefighters as they struggle to contain the massive wildfire,” said AmeriCares Director of Emergency Response Garrett Ingoglia. “We are also sending protective masks to help affected residents. We are hearing reports of people as far as 30 miles away afraid to leave their homes because of the heavy smoke.”
AmeriCares has provided medical relief and humanitarian assistance to millions affected by natural and man-made disasters for 30 years, including earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, Pakistan and Japan, the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia and Hurricane Katrina in the United States. In 2011, in response to one of the worst U.S. tornado seasons in decades, AmeriCares delivered nearly $3 million in aid for survivors, including $600,000 in disaster recovery grants to help more than 62,000 people recover and prepare for future emergencies.