Fund offers help for those affected by fire

OKANOGAN COUNTY – A fund has been set up to help victims of this summer’s Okanogan Complex Fire by paying one month’s mortgage or rent, according to Rocky DeVon, a director for the North Central Washington Association of Realtors.

DeVon said the disaster relief fund is through the national and state Association of Realtors. A similar fund last year raised $179,000 for victims of the Carlton Complex Fire.

“For the Carlton fire we asked if there was anything we could do for people who lost their homes. We looked around and found the National Relief Fund,” said DeVon, who owns RE/MAX Lake and Country in Oroville.

He says the same thing is being done this year and there is currently $85,000 in the fund.

“There have been some applications, but we know there were 189 homes lost and we don’t have nearly that many applications. We can pay one month’s mortgage or rent up to $850,” he said, adding, “So many people have been displaced it’s been hard to reach them. We are trying to get ahold of people who need our help through ads, the press and Facebook.”

Applications are available at Baines Title Company, an affiliate of the Realtor association. They are also available at RE/MAX in Oroville, as well as the Riverside Store and Dave’s Gun and Pawn in Riverside and the Junction and the Tonasket School District in Tonasket. In addition, people can call DeVon at 509-476-4444 or email him at or call the NCW Association of Realtors at 509-663-1211.

DeVon said the fund has already started cutting checks for the applicants who have applied. He hopes to see more of the fire victims get some relief by having some of the burden of paying the mortgage on homes that were lost or damaged.