Western Wildfires: Red Cross Responds as Fires Grow

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG)  |  By Red Cross

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - As many as 17 large wildfires are burning in California, destroying homes and other structures, forcing thousands of people from their homes. The American Red Cross is on the ground, providing shelter, relief supplies and comfort for those affected.

Over the weekend the Mendocino Complex Fire grew to 267,000 acres and is only 33 percent contained. The fire has destroyed 130 structures, including 67 homes. It is now the fourth largest wildfire in state history. The Carr Fire has burned 160,000 acres and is 43 percent contained. The sixth most destructive fire in California history, the fire has destroyed more than 1,500 structures, including 1,080 homes. The Ferguson Fire, which has closed Yosemite National Park, has burned more than 89,000 acres.

Large wildfires are also burning in Washington and Oregon where Red Cross disaster workers are providing shelter for those affected.

In California, more than 1,000 Red Cross disaster workers and nine emergency response vehicles are responding to the fires. The Red Cross has more than 20 shelters open and has provided more than 6,700 overnight shelter stays. Red Cross workers have also provided more than 73,000 meals and snacks and distributed more than 18,200 relief items. Health and mental health disaster workers have provided more than 6,100 services and caseworkers are meeting one-on-one with people to assist them in getting the help they need.

As evacuation orders are lifted in some areas and people return home, the Red Cross will continue working closely with state and local officials to ensure people get the help they need.

STAY IN TOUCH People can reconnect with loved ones through both the Red Cross Safe and Well website at redcross.org/safeandwell and by using the “I’m Safe” feature of the Red Cross Emergency App. The Safe and Well site allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. The site is always available, open to the public and available in Spanish. Registrations and searches can be done directly on the website. Registrations can also be completed by texting SAFE to 78876.

DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross app “Emergency” can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hand including shelter locations and severe weather and emergency alerts. The Red Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies at your fingertips. Download these apps by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.

HOW YOU CAN HELP You can help people affected by disasters like wildfires and countless other crisis by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Visit redcross.org or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter, or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37864, Boone, IA 50037-0864.

You can also help people affected by the California wildfires. Donors can designate their donation to the California wildfires relief efforts and the Red Cross will honor donor intent. The best way to ensure your donation will go to a specific disaster is to write the specific disaster name in the memo line of a check. We also recommend completing and mailing the donation form on redcross.org with your check. The Red Cross honors donor intent, and all donations earmarked for California wildfires will be used for our work to support these disasters.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.