Helping battle California wildfires



Red Cross shelter resident April Vazquez shares her artwork with Jordan Scott, American Red Cross worker, at the Kelseyville High School shelter. Photo by Virginia Hart/American Red Cross.

Two massive wildfires – the Butte Fire and the Valley Fire – ripped through northern California this summer, causing widespread damage and several fatalities. The Butte Fire was 100% contained as of Oct. 1, 2015, but the recovery will be a long and arduous process. According to statistics from Cal Fire, the Butte Fire burned nearly 71,000 acres through Amador and Calaveras counties. It destroyed 475 residences and 343 outbuildings, and damaged another 45 structures. Two people were killed and one other was injured during the nearly month-long blaze.

Firefighters continue to attack the Valley Fire, which was 99% contained as of this writing. The Valley Fire has burned more than 76,000 acres in Lake, Napa and Sonoma counties. It has destroyed 1,958 structures and damaged another 93. The Valley Fire has also claimed four lives and injured four firefighters.

As recovery and repair continue following these deadly wildfires, there is no better time to chip in and help support the ongoing recovery efforts. The American Red Cross continues to help with disaster-relief efforts across the country, responding to approximately 70,000 disasters in the United States every year. The Butte and Valley fires are no different. The American Red Cross has helped the California wildfire relief efforts by serving more than 30,000 meals and snacks, distributing more than 2,200 relief items, and opening more than 19 shelters, according to the organization’s website. You too can help by donating to the American Red Cross.

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