As many as 17 deadly wildfires are burning across California, including in Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino, Yuba, Nevada, Calaveras and Butte counties. The blazes, including the Tubbs Fire which is already the 12th most destructive wildfire on record in California, have already burned more than 110,000 acres and destroyed 1,100 homes. On Monday alone, the fast-moving fires burned an area the size of a football field every three seconds. That’s 20,000 acres scorched in as little as 12 hours.
About 45,000 people are under mandatory evacuation orders and as many as 33,000 homes are still threatened by the out-of-control fires. Several hospitals have been evacuated, thousands are without power and schools are closed. Wineries in the Napa Valley have also been affected, putting many people out of work.
Unfortunately no rain is expected in the region for about the next week. The exceptionally dry weather and at times hurricane-strength winds in California could spark additional fires, and the existing fires may spread rapidly and unpredictably.
In response, the American Red Cross is working alongside partners to provide shelter, food and comfort for people forced to leave their homes with little notice. Red Cross disaster workers are supporting evacuation centers where people can find safe refuge. Additional supplies and volunteers are being mobilized now. Just last night, at least 2,200 people sought refuge from wildfires in 32 Red Cross and community shelters across the state.
The Red Cross is also providing meals, health services, comfort and other support for affected residents. As the fires continue to grow, thousands of additional cots, blankets, and emergency relief supplies are being mobilized now to support relief efforts. Volunteers from across the country are now traveling to California to support sheltering, feeding, logistics and planning efforts. The Red Cross is also working closely with government and community partners to coordinate relief efforts. Some of the partners we are working with include Children’s Disaster Services, the Salvation Army and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.
If you need the location of a shelter or other help, you should follow your local media or go to redcross.org and check the shelter map.
People can also find a shelter by downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App. The Emergency App also puts wildfire safety tips at your fingertips. The app is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
Anyone who plans to stay in a Red Cross shelter should bring prescription medications, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, other comfort items and important documents. Don’t forget to bring any special items for children, such as diapers, formula and toys, or for family members who have unique needs.