Reaching across the water and into the city, the haze from the Northern California fires made its presence known. Damaging and burning at least 70,000+ acres overnight, various fires burned across eight counties: Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino, Yuba, Nevada, Calaveras and Butte. Thousands have had to evacuate their homes, abandon their businesses, and seek shelter as the fires continue to spread and damage everything in their path. At the time of this blog post, there have been 10 lives lost and more than 1,500 homes and businesses destroyed due to the fires. The California National Guard has also sent military police personnel and medical evacuation helicopters to help out law enforcement as resources are becoming stretched.
Whether it would be on the ground or aerial firefighting, the resources needed to combat this fire are not enough. With hopes that the winds will ease Monday afternoon, the damages brought on by the fire have been devastating. It is difficult to see this happening in our own backyard, yet people have stepped up and offered their homes to those affected to alleviate their worries and perhaps find some comfort in such a difficult time.
As we continue to the monitor the updates on the fires in Northern California, we have created a Northern California Wildfire Response and Recovery fund and identified the following organizations that are putting forth efforts during the evacuations:
- The American Red Cross is on hand to provide food, lodging, and comfort at safe shelters. In addition, they have set up a “Safe and Well” website where evacuees can register to let their families and loved ones know they are safe.
- Catholic Charities, Diocese of Santa Rosa serves all six counties of the Santa Rosa Diocese, when the initial emergency has passed they will be providing disaster recovery services to residents who survived fires in Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino through food, clothes, emergency benefits and financial assistance.
- The Sonoma Humane Society is building a grassroots effort to find shelters that are open to pets after the massive evacuation. They are also offering resources to pet owners who have been displaced by the fires including crates, food, and pet supplies. They are reserving shelter space for animals displaced by the fire.
Photo Credit: NY Times | Justin Sullivan | Getty Images