The death toll continues to rise in Northern California as fast-moving wildfires have caused widespread evacuations and destroyed more than 2,000 structures.
While fire officials say there are a series of wildfires ongoing, the three largest blazes, the Tubbs fire, which has charred 28,000 acres in Napa and Sonoma counties; the Atlas fire (26,000 acres in Solano and Napa counties); and the Redwood/Potter fires (21,000 acres in Mendocino County), all pose a dire threat, according to CNN.
Officials are still investigating the cause of the blazes, which is threatening to destroy the region’s wine-tourism industry. Meanwhile, hundreds of people are still missing.
How to help those affected by the Northern California wildfires
Although, the situation is still very fluid and developing, there are some things that you can do right now to help Northern Californians affected by the wildfires:
The Red Cross
The Red Cross is on the ground in Northern California to assist those in need. The organization says that it has taken in more than 2,000 people from wildfires in 20 Red Cross and community shelters across the state. The group is also providing meals, health services, comfort and other support for those affected. You can donate to the Red Cross here or use your phone to call all 1-800 RED CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
United Way of the Wine County
The United Way has a Wine Country chapter that is taking the lead in providing aid to those affected by the wildfires. The group has set up a relief fund to facilitate relief efforts. “All gifts made through our website will be directed to area fire relief and recovery efforts until further notice,” the group says on its pledge page.
The Center For Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership
The organization said on its website that it has activated both its Emergency Volunteer Centers (EVCs) in Napa and Marin counties.
“Our role as an Emergency Volunteer Center is to be a go-to for volunteering when a disaster is declared in Marin and/or Napa Counties,” the organization said on its website. While needs are developing rapidly, the group said it did not need any donating goods at its facilities. If you would like to donate to relief efforts, click here.
There are several GoFundMe accounts that have been created by people trying to help the victims of the wildfires. ” Napa and Sonoma County Fire Relief is one that has garnered about $95,000 of its $100,000 goal.
The account says that all donated funds will be spread evenly among the fire departments in the affected municipalities, including Sonoma Valley, Lake and Napa counties, Santa Rosa and the Redwood Credit Union.
The crowdsourcing site Fundly recommends an account called the California Fire Relief Fund for monetary donations. The page, started by Adam Weinger of Double The Donation, says: “Please join us in supporting the firefighters and victims of the fires burning across California. We’ll be supporting local firefighters and nonprofits helping the communities of Napa, Sonoma, and Northern CA recover.”
The campaign has amassed more than $26,000 for the effort.
Why donating to online fundraisers can be dangerous
[anvplayer video=”4028908″ station=”998267″]