8 Ways You Can Help the California Wildfire Victims RIGHT NOW
California’s wine country is burning. Twenty-two wildfires have ripped through northern California since Sunday night, accelerated by dry conditions and whipping winds. Their damage has been devastating.
As of Wednesday morning, the Washington Post reports that the flames have torched more than 170,000 acres and claimed at least 21 lives. More than 20,000 residents have been forced to evacuate. Over 500 more are reported missing.
The fires remain largely uncontained. NPR reports that California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, Yuba, Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Nevada, and Orange counties.
With wind conditions worsening and the fires largely uncontained, it’s likely that their trail of devastation will continue in the days — and possibly longer — to follow. In the meantime, here are ways you can help.
If you live in the Bay Area:
Donate supplies to evacuation centers. Clothing, baby food, pet food, water, blankets, pillows, bedding, toilet paper, and more are all in demand. NBC Bay Area has a full list of drop-off locations.
Donate clothes. San Francisco clothing store Love on Haight is donating free clothes to North Bay evacuees, and accepting donations on an ongoing basis.
Offer housing.Airbnb hosts based in California can house evacuees and relief workers for free through October 30.
Volunteer time. The Napa Community Animal Response Team needs volunteers to help with rescued animals in shelters. The Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership and the American Red Cross are looking for volunteers to help with evacuees.
Give to area food pantries. Food pantries in Napa County, Yuba County, and Sonoma County are currently taking donations.
If you live anywhere:
Donate funds to the American Red Cross. You can donate online, call 1-800 RED CROSS, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Give to grassroots relief efforts. There are several campaigns currently active on GoFundMe. Additionally, you can visit Tubbs Fire Safety Check-In on Facebook to find ways to volunteer, donate, and raise money.
Help furry friends. In addition to the tens of thousands of human fire victims, area animal shelters are overflowing with rescues. You can help out by donating to Wine Country Animal Lovers, Humane Society of Sonoma County, Humane Society of Napa County, Yuba-Sutter SPCA, and the Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch.
If you know of any relief efforts we missed, please tell us @BritandCo.
(Photos via Justin Sullivan / Getty)