By Ann McCreary
A rebuilding campaign to replace homes lost in the Carlton Complex Fire will get underway next spring, and an executive director has been chosen to lead the process.
The Carlton Complex Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG) has selected Carlene Anders of Pateros to serve as executive director, beginning Jan. 1.
The LTRG is a nonprofit organization formed to address both long-term community needs and the rebuilding of homes and other lost structures in the Carlton Complex Fire.
The group consists of representatives from throughout the region affected by the disaster.
Anders has been serving as executive director of the Brewster/Pateros Long Term Recovery Organization, a recovery group focused on those communities, and has represented that organization on the LTRG.
LTRG has begun a fundraising campaign to raise $500,000 to support an on-the-ground team for two years to coordinate the rebuilding of an estimated 40-plus houses and other structures. The organization has already raised $200,000 toward the goal.
In addition to the executive director, the rebuilding team will include a volunteer coordinator and a construction manager, who are expected to be on the job in early 2015, said Jon Wyss, chairman of the LTRG.
“This rebuild team is a vital investment that will allow us to maximize contributions from the private and public sector for the rebuilding of homes lost in the Carlton Complex fires, while working to revitalize our local economic base,” Wyss said.
The LTRG plans to partner with Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster, a national coalition of charitable and faith-based organizations dedicated to helping disaster-stricken communities, Wyss said.
The organizations bring different sets of skills and expertise, such as house framing and finishing, which will assist in the rebuilding process.
“We take our responsibility, to be cost-effective, very seriously and are working to coordinate as many volunteers and donated supplies as possible,” said Anders.
Anders is a volunteer firefighter and was ski school director for 17 years at Loup Loup Ski Bowl, before retiring earlier this year.
The LTRG works with disaster case managers who are helping people who suffered losses as a result of the fires. The case manager positions are funded through March 2015, and continued funding for these positions is also a priority for LTRG, Wyss said.
For information or to find out how to donate, call (509) 433-7260.