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States of emergency

Western employees show support for firefighters

Firefighters respond to a flare-up near Lower Lake, CA, recently. Photo: The (Santa Rosa) Press Democrat

Postal Service employees are showing their appreciation for the firefighters battling drought-fueled wildfires in the west.

Using his own money, Lower Lake, CA, Postmaster Ben Lovato recently purchased and distributed hundreds of postcards to crews fighting the recording-breaking fires burning in his state since mid-August.

The firefighters used the cards to write home from areas where damaged cell towers disrupted phone, text and email communications.

“I’m happy that they were put to good use,” said Lovato.

In Washington state, where firefighters also have been battling wildfires, Cashmere Letter Carrier Jim Kimber recently built a secure, portable box for crews to deposit outgoing mail.

The box makes “it possible for our firefighters to send letters back to loved ones,” wrote crew commander Nathan Rabe in a letter thanking Kimber.

Fires have burned approximately 9 million acres in the United States this year, mostly in Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. More than 30,000 firefighters have responded.

“The community is very grateful to them,” Lovato said.

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