Across California, wildfires have engulfed more than an estimated 1.3 million acres in the past week as firefighters struggle to contain the blazes. Officials from Cal Fire attribute the more than 615 wildfires to dry terrain, record-breaking temperatures, and a series of lightning storms.
Northern California remains the hardest-hit area with the largest group of fires, the L.N.U. Lightning Complex and the S.C.U. Lightning Complex. These fires ripped through the region, causing nearly 250,000 people to evacuate their homes and killing seven. Parks and nature retreats like Big Basin State Park have seen immense damage as well with more than 4,000 acres of the state’s iconic redwood trees destroyed.
In a virtual press conference on Monday, August 24, California Gov. Gavin Newsom voiced that the state is at the point where, “every resource at our disposal, every resource that we have within the state, is being used.” Tens of thousands of firefighter from across California and the United States have been enlisted to help fight the flames—some working 24-hour shifts to prevent more homes from being engulfed.
As weather forecasts show the threat of more lighting storms and evacuees fear contracting the coronavirus at local shelters, it’s clear those devastated by the wildfires need support now more than ever.
- United Way of Northern California provides emergency cash grants to those who have lost their homes.
- Latino Community Foundation NorCal Wildfire Relief Fund assists Latino-led grassroots organizations on the frontlines of providing critical financial assistance, rehousing support, and emergency translation for Latino and immigrant families.
- The American Red Cross has nearly 500 disaster workers on the frontlines and provides housing, meals, comfort kits, and supplies for those affected by the natural disaster.
- Puente has assisted in setting up evacuation centers in the South Coast community and is currently accepting donations through their Emergency Fire Relief Fund.
- The Napa Valley Community Foundation offers long-term relief to victims in the most-impacted areas.
- The California Fire Foundation provides emotional and financial assistance to firefighters and the families of fallen firefighters.
- GoFundMe set up an official fundraiser and page to directly support individuals and organizations struggling due to the wildfires.
- Solano County Community Foundation offers grants to nonprofits focused on recovery and rebuilding efforts.
- World Central Kitchen feeds firefighters and evacuees impacted by the wildfires.
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