The Pine Creek Community Long-Term Recovery Organization

On September 7, 2020 wildfires raged through northern Whitman County, Washington, fanned by wind gusts as high as 50 mph. The Babb Road Fire consumed more than 15,000 acres of Palouse farmland and habitat and engulfed the towns of Malden and Pine City, forcing nearly 200 residents to evacuate.

The fast-moving fire consumed the Town of Malden in 2 ½ hours, spewing briquette-sized embers and destroying 80% of the Town’s buildings, many down to their foundations. Among the rubble are the majority of homes and the town’s only post office, town hall, fire station, food bank, and library.

Eighty  percent of the homes and buildings were burned, many down to their foundations, leaving the streets in rubble. The community was most fortunate that there was no loss of human life.

In the aftermath of the fire, community leaders came together to think about the future. How will we recover? How will we be better prepared for the next crisis?

The outcome of these conversations is the Pine Creek Community Restoration Long Term Recovery Organization (LTRO). The LTRO has been dedicated to learning about the impacts of the fire, securing resources to help individuals and families, and mapping a pathway to recovery.



Heather VanDyke, Chair

Christine OakleyInterim Vice Chair

Rachel Blakeley, Secretary + Co-Treasurer

Mark Posthuma, Co-Treasurer

Alyssa Hale, Board Member

Janell Turner, Board Member



John Goyke, Construction Manager, LTRO + Town of Malden

pending, Executive Director

vacant, Assistant Director

Robin Fahle Ohlgren, Communication and Outreach Specialist

Dave Reynolds, Disaster Case Management (DCM) Lead


Doug Arlt, Volunteer Coordinator

Georgia Beck, Housing Solutions, Whitman Community Action Center

Gerry Bozarth, Mitigation and Disaster Recovery Specialist, Spokane County Emergency Management

Kathy Bryson, Disaster Response Coordinator, Pacific Northwest United Methodist Church

Scott Cooper, Director of Parish Social Ministries, Catholic Charities Eastern Washington

Matthew Gower, Behavioral Health Administrator, Washington State Health Care Authority

Julia Havens, Community Engagement Manager, Washington State Department of Commerce

Micki Harnois, Clerk, Town of Malden

Dan Harwood, Mayor, Town of Malden

Paul Kimmell, Palouse Regional Business and Public Affairs Manager, Avista Corporation

Kim Maxfield, Case Manager, Washington Masonic Charities

Eva Nguyen, Recovery Coordinator, United Policyholders

Meghan O’Hara, Regional Disaster Officer, NW Region American Red Cross

Christine Oakley, Wildfire Task Force Representative, United Way of Whitman County

Jody Opheim, Grants Manager, Town of Malden

Molly Sanchez, Director of Grants and Community Engagement, Innovia Foundation

Bill Tensfeld, Director, Whitman County Emergency Management

Jennifer Wallace, Executive Director, Palouse Habitat for Humanity

Get in Touch. Get Involved.

Send us a message if you need recovery assistance or have ideas about helping our community rebuild.

Tell us how we are doing.  We want to hear from you.

Pine Creek Community Operations

P.O. Box 47, Rosalia, WA 99170

Office Hours: M-F,  9 a.m-5 p.m.  Tel: 1-509-508-9806

214 W. Moreland Avenue, Malden, WA