I live about 95 miles from Paradise, CA, the town that literally burned to the ground within the past week. The Camp Fire, named for Camp Creek Road, where the fire started, is California's most destructive on record (currently burning 113,000 acres) and deadliest on record (at 29 and rising).
Then, there are the Woolsey and Hills fires in Southern California, which have collectively destroyed more than 96,000 acres across L.A. and Ventura counties.
If you check Cal Fire's fire tracking map, there are more than a dozen active fires across California right now.
The devastation can be seen literally across the state. The skies 170 miles south of Paradise are blanketed in smoke and tinted orange. Everything reminds us of the terrible disaster that is still in full effect for our friends to the North.
If you have some extra money, please consider sending it to local organizations across California to help aid victims of these fires.
In northern California, the San Francisco Chronicle recommends sending monetary donations to the North Valley Community Foundation. If you live near Butte County (where Paradise is located), you can also drop of warm clothes, shoes and socks, and other necessities at the Hope Center in Oroville (1950 Kitrick Ave A).
Fires, especially ones that ravage homes and send families away without warning, often leave pets lost and separated from their owners. Local animal shelters and foundations need lots of monetary help, as well as supplies like crates and bowls for the massive influx of new patients.
In Northern California, the best place to start is the North Valley Animal Disaster Group for monetary donations. From there, you can also learn how to volunteer and where you can send much-needed supplies.
In Southern California, you can donate to the Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation and the Ventura County Humane Society. You can also visit the L.A. County Department of Animal Care to adopt a pet or drop off some of those needed supplies at their Castaic animal care center (31044 N. Charlie Canyon Road).
Of course, many national organizations are helping across the state with pop up shelters, emergency medical attention, and whatever they can provide. Your donations will help the victims of the California fires, as well as across the U.S.
The American Red Cross is currently providing shelters for displaced families across California and are always on the scene of any disaster with as much help as they can give.
The CCF Wildfire Relief Foundation works to help victims in the aftermath of a fire with finding new homes, getting their lives back together, and emotional support.
Google, the search engine service you use every day, has a special link at the top of any search for "Donate Camp Fire." You can donate directly to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, which will distribute donations to nonprofit organizations that are most affected by the California fires.
If you have it in your heart and your wallet to help out, California needs you.