Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California to provide emergency support for those impacted by deadly wildfires in California. The assistance includes food and other critical supplies, housing and the storage of belongings.
“The diocese and church partners are coordinating their efforts during this challenging time. The fires have not been contained and last minute evacuations continue,” said Katie Mears, Director of Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program. “We are in regular communication with the dioceses throughout California as they monitor the fires, assess damage and coordinate the sheltering and feeding of those affected.”
Eighteen different fires have forced thousands to evacuate and destroyed hundreds of buildings within the diocese. Over 20 wildfires are burning in Napa, Sonoma, Orange and Mendocino counties and other areas across California where a state of emergency has been declared. According to local authorities, at least 23 people have died, with over 250 reported missing.
Wildfires have burned over 190,000 acres, including 13 Napa Valley wineries which serve as the foundation of the local economy. Fires continue to be fueled by strong winds, dry brush and low humidity. Dangerous conditions persist with winds up to 50 miles per hour hampering firefighting efforts and with no rain in the current forecast. The air is thick with smoke and ash. Some areas have power and cell phone outages.
“I am very impressed by the wisdom among leaders in the Diocese of Northern California,” Mears said. “Margaret Dunning, the Diocesan Disaster Coordinator, and others have been working tirelessly for over six years to increase congregational preparedness and to network with neighboring dioceses and NGO partners. The diocese has responded successfully to several smaller events over the last few years. This large-scale emergency builds on that wisdom and experience.”
Please support Episcopal Relief & Development’s response to the wildfires in California by donating to the US Disaster Fund and pray for all those impacted.
For more than 75 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has served as a compassionate response to human suffering in the world. The agency works with more than 3 million people in nearly 40 countries worldwide to overcome poverty, hunger and disease through multi-sector programs, using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework. An independent 501(c)(3) organization, it works closely with Anglican Communion and ecumenical partners to help communities create long-term development strategies and rebuild after disasters.