The group helping victims of the October Station Fire — known as the Cole Creek fire — has set a deadline of Jan. 15 for those who suffered losses.

The Cole Creek Fire Recovery Organization created a survey for those affected by the fire to list their losses and damages — regardless of the value or size — including fence posts, sheds, cars, livestock and other property, organization leader Clif Mc Crady said.

Mc Crady complimented the generosity of the community with its donations of food and shelter. The government, insurance companies and volunteer groups are doing their part, but there still might be some gaps in assistance, he said.

“The city’s taking part of it, there’s insurance, but there are going to be some unmet needs,” he said. “And if we don’t know what the unmet needs are, then we’re not going to be able to assist the families get back to the new normal.”

The organization has set up a four-member case management team to review the surveys and evaluate individuals’ needs, the assistance that has been offered, and what remains, Mc Crady said.

The Jan. 15 deadline is necessary to determine the needs, he said. “We can drag it on forever. And you figure by three months the fire, you know people should have an idea of what they need.”

The fire started Sunday, Oct. 11, after a wood chip pile at the Casper landfill caught fire the day before and then 50-plus mph winds blew ashes east across Cole Creek Road. The Natrona County Sheriff’s Office evacuated the area Sunday, and lifted the evacuation order Tuesday. The fire burned an area over 9,500 acres.

Mc Crady said 17 homes were destroyed, and 20 families were displaced. Some homes received minor damages, while others were untouched.

One family already has poured a foundation for the installation of a manufactured home, he said. Another family has moved away from the area, he said.
If anyone affected by the fire needs a survey, they can contact the organization at 215-8949, e-mail colecreekfire@gmail.com or visit its Facebook page Cole Creek Fire Recovery Organization. Surveys also are available at the American Red Cross, 318 W. B St., and Joshua’s Storehouse, 334 S. Wolcott.
The CCFRO was created with the aid of American Red Cross and Wyoming Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.

For more information please contact Mc Crady at cmccrady@natronacounty-wy.gov or at 232-0124.