The city of Santa Rosa, California, is mostly evacuated today, and fire threatens to destroy homes and businesses for the second time in since 2017. Unusual winds that gust to 40 or 50 miles per hour, known as “Diablo Winds,” are driving the Kincade Fire toward the city, taking wineries and homes in the surrounding area. And parts of Los Angeles County are burning, too.
This is what climate change looks like. Billions of dollars in damages — the 2017 Tubbs Fire caused $1.2 billion dollars in damages — and annual crises have displaced as many as 200,000 people today. This creates stress, not simply for those evacuated or who have lost their home, but also for the entire population that cannot know if or when they, too, will be faced with an advancing wildfire, as Dr. Reggie Ferreira of Tulane University explained in an Earth911 podcast today. Two million Californians are without power at this writing.
As humanity adapts to a warming climate, which contributes to the Diablo Winds that are typically rare but have aided the growth of the fires for several days straight in the Bay Area, we will need to be prepared to offer assistance. We’ve assembled a list of resources and charities you can support to help victims of another weather-related disaster.
Tracking the Fires
Knowing when and where fires are burning can help with your own anxiety. If you have friends or family in the fire areas, you can track the progress of the battle to halt the flames at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection or the Los Angeles Fire Department sites:
Services and Charities
Wildfire has become so common that several charities now maintain funds for California wildfire recovery. They include:
- The Center for Disaster Philanthropy 2019 California Wildfires Recovery Fund
- The Community Foundation of Sonoma County Resilience Fund. You can donate online, but the office has been evacuated due to fire threat.
- GlobalGiving’s California Wildfire Relief Fund has launched a $3 million campaign in response to this week’s fires.
- The Latino Community Foundation NorCal Wildfire Relief Fund relaunched its campaign to address the Kincade fire.
- The California Community Foundation Northern California Wildfire Relief program supports people affected by fire.
- The California Fire Foundation supports fallen firefighters and their families.
If You Are Affected
- The Red Cross Wildfire Relief program can be contacted by people in the disaster area for help.
- Visit the California Wildfires Statewide Recovery Resources page for assistance from the state government.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers Individual Disaster Assistance when a disaster has been declared by the president.
As in earlier wildfires, the damage will not be contained in time. Following fires, which strip the land of plants that prevent erosion, mudslides and flooding are common. Even after the Kincade and Getty fires are over, the impact of a warming climate will combine in new, devastating ways.
Please consider contributing to help those affected.