How to Help California Wildfire Survivors

California’s grim year of record-breaking wildfires continues this month. The Camp Fire in Northern California’s Butte County claimed 113,000 acres and42 lives and counting as ofTuesday morning, while the Woolsey Firein Southern Californiatore through 96,000 acres. Watching these fires race through the landscape can be scary,especiallywhen it may feel like there’s nothing you can do.

Fortunately, a lot of people are working on the ground to fight these fires and support survivors as they return home — or find new housing, in the case of thousands who have lost their residences.

Whether you’re a local or live across the country, there are a numberof ways to help.

Consider giving money, which allows community organizations to purchase what they need, when they need it, at a good price. One such organization is Mask Oakland, a collective that’s distributing respiratory protection to communities in need. Other options include the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation, California Community Foundation, United Way of Los Angeles and Ventura County, Direct Relief, California Fire Foundation’s SAVE program, Northern California United Wayand North Valley Community Foundation.

Some organizations may need material donations. It’s a good idea to check their websites or social media accounts to learn more, astheir needs can fluctuate — an animal shelter might be in desperate need of dry dog food one day, and overloaded the next. Many groups are maintaining Amazon wish lists to manage donations efficiently.

If you’re local to the fires, there are numerousvolunteer opportunities, and you may also consider offering shelter to humans or animals who have been pushed out of their homes. Fostering or adopting pets can be especially important, freeing up space in shelters to accommodate evacuee animals who need temporary places to stay. Organizations likeRedRover,Humane Society of Ventura County,North Valley Animal Disaster Group, and the Humane Society of the United States are also responding to the fires with veterinary care, emergency sheltering, and grants to local organizations.

But there’s another critical way you can support fire victims: Contact your federal legislators and talk to them about climate change.

While Donald Trump hasblamed California’s water and timber management policies for these terrible fires, the truth is that climate change is the real problem. The state is being stricken with extremely dry, hot weather, which turns the landscape into a tinderbox and sends firestorms whirling through forests and homes alike when winds pick up. Climate change has exacerbated these conditions, and meaningful action on this issue will help not just California, but also states across the West.

The Trump administration’s official policy of denying climate change is harmful, making it difficult for administrative agencies to take action on climate resilience and mitigation efforts. Congress must act to explicitly state that climate change is real, and press for policy moves designed tominimize the effects of humans on the environment. As the severe hurricanes and wildfires of 2018 have shown, this is an issue that’s only growing worse — and future generations will pay a high price for our inaction.

Photo credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Creative Commons

63 comments

joan silaco
joan silaco19 days ago

thank you

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Colin C
Colin C27 days ago

Informative article

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Nita L
Nita L27 days ago

Article shared and petition signed. Thank you

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ANA MARIJA R
ANA MARIJA R27 days ago

Care2 Family Please sign California Is Using Slave Labor, Including Minors, to Fight Historic Wildfires. THANK YOU!

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RosemaryRannes HusbandHos

Too true s.e. Smith!
" While Donald Trump has blamed California’s water and timber management policies for these terrible fires, the truth is that climate change is the real problem. The state is being stricken with extremely dry, hot weather, which turns the landscape into a tinderbox and sends firestorms whirling through forests and homes alike when winds pick up. Climate change has exacerbated these conditions, and meaningful action on this issue will help not just California, but also states across the West.

The Trump administration’s official policy of denying climate change is harmful, making it difficult for administrative agencies to take action on climate resilience and mitigation efforts. Congress must act to explicitly state that climate change is real, and press for policy moves designed to minimize the effects of humans on the environment. As the severe hurricanes and wildfires of 2018 have shown, this is an issue that’s only growing worse — and future generations will pay a high price for our inaction."

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Hannah K
Hannah K27 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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Mark T
Mark T28 days ago

Ty.

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Janis K
Janis K28 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Amanda McConnell
Amanda McConnell28 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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Amanda McConnell
Amanda McConnell28 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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