The state of California is currently experiencing the most destructive wildfire in the state’s history. The massive Camp Fire began on Thursday evening near Camp Creek Road near Highway 70 in Butte County. In twenty-four hours, it had spread over 90,000 acres and had claimed the lives of nine people. Over 50,000 people have been evacuated from the area, many of whom were from the town of Paradise, which has been completely destroyed by the wildfire.
What We Know
- As of Saturday morning, the fire had spread to 100,000 acres and is approximately 20% contained.
- A Red Flag Warning denoting a high risk of wildfire has been extended in California until Tuesday, CBS Los Angeles reports. It had previously expired on Friday.
- Close to 30,000 people are currently out of power at the time of this writing.
- Butte County schools were closed on Friday, and officials expect the schools to remain closed until November 23.
- Visit the Butte County website for current evacuation orders and warnings.
- Get weather updates and safety tips from the Los Angeles office of the National Weather Service via Twitter.
- Learn how to stay safe in a wildfire from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (instructions available in both English and Spanish).
How You Can Help
- If you live in the area and have internet access, mark yourself as “Safe and Well” so friends and family don’t worry. You can also check for missing friends and family, though it has been reported that numerous people did not have enough time to take phones or identification with them when they evacuated.
- Give blood, if you are able to do so. No matter where you are in the country, your blood donation can help with the medical needs of those affected by the fires.
- If you are in a position to contribution financially, Butte County officials are requesting assistance via the North Valley Community Foundation website.
- Material donations may be delivered to the Hope Center in Oroville. Current needs include warm clothing, socks, shoes, and coats.
- People who would like to volunteer are asked to contact Caring Choices. Their phone number is 530-899-3873 and their address is 1398 Ridgewood, Chico, CA.
- It’s important to be kind to yourself, especially during times of stress. If you or someone you know is in crisis, you can reach out to IMAlive to anonymously chat with a trained volunteer.
Our hearts go out to all those affected by the Camp Fire and other California wildfires. We encourage you to seek out ways to help those in need.