The American Red Cross is in California, providing shelter, food and comfort as residents cope with the deadliest week of wildfires in state history. About 101,000 people are under mandatory evacuation orders, including the entire town of Calistoga, most having only a few minutes to flee their neighborhood. As many as 33,000 homes are threatened by the out-of-control fires.
The fires have already burned more than 162,000 acres and destroyed some 1,300 homes. Several hospitals have been evacuated, thousands are without power and schools are closed. Wineries in the Napa Valley have been affected, putting many people out of work. The Tubbs fire is already the 12th most destructive wildfire on record in California, and it is still burning out of control.
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. No rain is expected in the region for 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.
Alongside partners, more than 430 Red Cross disaster workers are supporting evacuation centers where people can find safe refuge from the fires, reconnect with loved ones and get information. Thousands of additional cots, blankets and relief items have been mobilized in case additional shelters are needed.
Overnight, almost 5,000 people stayed in 57 Red Cross and community shelters across the state.
The Red Cross is providing meals, health services, comfort and other support for affected residents coming to our shelters. With the help of partners, the Red Cross has served more than 20,000 meals and snacks, and provided more than 1,100 mental health and health services to support and care for those affected.
With hundreds of people reported as missing, it’s critical to help people reconnect with their loved ones. Red Cross volunteers at our shelters are helping people to register on Safe and Well to facilitate reunification.
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