PLEASE NOTE: Donations made toward IRUSA’s United States Humanitarian Aid fund in excess of the support requirements for emergency appeals may be used to support other important emergency or long-term work across the country.
As California Wildfires Near Containment, Thousands are Still Affected
In August 2018, California is experiencing 16 simultaneously raging wildfires, the largest of which is the Mendocino Complex Fire and the Carr Fire. The Mendocino Complex fire has grown to become the largest fire in California’s history. The Carr Fire has been declared to be the 6th most destructive fire in the state’s history.
As of August 20th, the Mendocino Complex Fire has burned a nearly 350,000 acres.
As of August 20th, the Carr Fire in Redding, CA, has burned over 229,651 acres and is 88% contained. The Carr Fire has claimed nearly a dozen lives and injured 17 first-responders. To make matters worse, on August 9th, a new fire, called the Hat Fire, was spotted northeast of the Carr Fire. It has already burned 2,500 acres and is at 15% containment.
The Carr fire has destroyed nearly 2,000 structures, more than half of which are homes, and counting. Thousands of additional structures remain threatened.
The fires have created separate weather systems that includes what meteorologists have termed “firenadoes.” This mix of heat and wind escalates the damage done by hurling debris.
Even with the help of over 12,000 firefighters currently responding to the crisis, including firefighters from New Zealand and Austrailia, officials are concerned with the visible fatigue firefighters are experiencing.
The National Guard sent 2,300 additional staff to support firefighters.
Over 38,000 people have already been evacuated and hundreds of families are scrambling to find shelter. Early estimates figured that in some areas, fire is spreading at a rate of one football field every three seconds.
The fires have forced Yosemite National Park to close indefinitely, for the first time in 20 years.
Islamic Relief USA Declares an Emergency
Islamic Relief USA declared this an emergency and is working with local partners on the ground in California to deliver humanitarian aid to disaster-stricken areas across the state.
- IRUSA has distributed over 350 fire kits to people affected by Carr Fire
- The kits include a shovel, a rake, a sifter to find belongings in ash, gloves, face masks, plastic bags, blue tarp, and a plastic bin.
- IRUSA is spearheading a two-phase response. As part of the Phase One response, IRUSA has been requested to support with shelter fundamentals, psychological first aid, and disaster assessments. Additionally DRT will work with CFD to identify ways to engage the local Muslim community in CA. For the Phase Two response (Early Recovery), IRUSA will provide financial assistance to those who have gone through appropriate casework and have proper documentation.
Islamic Relief USA’s Disaster Response Team is specially trained to respond to emergencies like the current California fires with immediacy.
You can answer the call for the people suffering and worrying in California by donating now.
Check back for Redding and Mendocino fire updates as well as updates on relief efforts.