Counseling available for Walker residents

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Counselors will be on hand today to talk to Walker residents about the fire that endangered homes and the crash of a fire tanker in their town.

A group of crisis counselors from the American Red Cross and Mono County Mental Health will be speaking with residents 2-8 p.m. at the Mono County Career Service Center, 107384 Highway 395 in Walker.

"It's really important someone has a chance to talk any time there is a disaster," said Donna Brand of the Sierra Nevada chapter of the American Red Cross.

"We provide a mental health professional who sometimes is just there to listen."

Brand said there was very little notice for the free sessions.

"We just received word that it will all come together," she said Tuesday.

She hopes that by getting out the word, people who might not otherwise seek counseling will come out.

"A lot of times people don't think they need it," she said. "But with something like that and having to leave their homes, we really feel this is something we can offer that hopefully will help them get through it."

Even professionals often need counseling after dealing with a disaster.

"When you're working in an area where there is a lot of stress and a lot of hurt, you can absorb some of that," she said. "When you come home it is hard to settle back into a normal routine without talking to someone."

Appointments are available by calling 1-530-495-1262.

The 22,750-acre Cannon Fire was 85 percent contained on Tuesday. Highway 395 through the Walker River Canyon was opened on Tuesday morning, with cars escorted through the area affected by the fire.


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