Prayers have been requested for those in the state of Washington and other areas of the western United States who are affected by wildfires. Late last week, Pacific Northwest District executive Colleen Michael reported that the community of Tonasket, Wash.--where there are two Church of the Brethren congregations--has been affected by mandatory evacuations.
“Colleen has family there, who have all been evacuated safely,” said the prayer request from the Office of the General Secretary. “Three firefighters have lost their lives and another is in critical condition in the burn unit of Seattle’s Harborview hospital.
“Please pray for the responders, for those who have lost homes or loved ones, for those who are temporarily displaced, and for all communities under evacuation order.”
Also last week, Bethany Seminary shared a prayer request for Brethren and others affected by the fires after associate professor Debbie Roberts’ travel back to the seminary was hindered. Wildfires had closed a main highway south of her home in Tonasket.
In a follow-up telephone message, Roberts’ husband Steve Kinsey reported that at least a 10-mile stretch of the main highway south of Tonasket had been closed, and many homes had been lost to the fires. High winds were causing separate fires to join together, causing a very serious situation.
This week, news reports from the northwest indicate that high winds and warm weather continue to worsen fire conditions. Dozens of wildfires are spread across the western United States, forcing evacuations from Washington State to southern California. As of this past Sunday, fires were reported to be raging in the states of Washington, California, Montana, Idaho, and Oregon.