California Is On Fire. Here's How You Can Help.




California Is On Fire. Here's How You Can Help.
California Is On Fire. Here's How You Can Help.  

Twenty-two large, fast-moving wildfires in northern California this week have burned more than 170,000 acres, killed at least 21 people and destroyed around 3,500 homes and commercial structures.

According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, 11 people died in just one of the fires, making it the sixth deadliest fire in state history.

In Sonoma County, 560 people were still unaccounted for as of Wednesday morning, though that eye-popping figure is likely in part a result of difficulty communicating in the fire-scarred area.

Nearby Mendocino County has also been hit particularly hard, with entire ranches burned to the ground.

"I feel so bad. I want to be donating and not donated to. I feel like I'm stealing, you know?" one woman in Mendocino County told The Mercury News. "If we get to go back to our home, we are going to set up a tent city in the yard because a lot of people will have no place to go back to."

"Redwood Valley is just gone," she added.

Some 50,000 people have evacuated so far, and that number could very well rise. Officials fear strong winds Wednesday night and Thursday morning, paired with low humidity, could spread the fires even farther.

In light of the ongoing disaster, here's how you can help.

If you live in or near the affected region:

California Airbnb hosts can sign up here to offer free housing to evacuees and relief workers.

Consider donating to a food pantry. Here's a list of food pantries in Napa County, food pantries in Yuba County and food pantries in Sonoma County.

If you live in or near Sonoma and are willing to volunteer, you can register to do so at the Sonoma Community Center, which is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Those in or near Napa willing to volunteer are being asked to sign up and create a profile with the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership.

You could also foster an animal. Hundreds of pets have been evacuated from animal shelters in the affected region, leading to crowded facilities in the safe areas they've been evacuated to. Check with your local animal rescue facility ― NBC Bay Area has a great list here ― to see how you can help.

If you're in the region of the Tubbs Fire (including Lake, Sonoma and Mendocino counties), join the Tubbs Fire Facebook Group, where people are coordinating requests and offers for help.

If you live farther away, or would prefer to donate money:

Donate to the Sonoma County Resilience Fund. The fund is overseen by the Community Foundation of Sonoma County and pledges to "focus on the mid- to long-term tasks of recovery and rebuilding, which will include basic needs as well as longer term economic, health and social supports."

Donations can also be made to the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund.

Donations for both Lake County and Mendocino County are being coordinated by the Savings Bank of Mendocino County.

Donate to the American Red Cross. You can request via a drop-down menu that your donation go only to California wildfire victims, or donate to the organization's broader disaster relief efforts.

GoFundMe also has a page set up for fundraising efforts in the region. Donations can be made to specific families, for shelter supplies, fire relief and more.

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