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Red Cross Distributes Supplies as Wildfire Evacuees Return Home

  • Volunteers with Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief
    Volunteers with Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief unload supplies and prepare meals to be delivered to Red Cross service locations and into the communities impacted by the Butte Fire. Photo by Jordan Scott/American Red Cross
  • Red Cross volunteer Janet Upchurch
    Red Cross volunteer Janet Upchurch provides lunch to Mountain Ranch resident Terrance Hession. Terrance is one of many residents who lost their home to the devastating Butte Fire. Photo by Jordan Scott/American Red Cross
  • Rich Woodruff, a Red Cross worker from Utah
    Rich Woodruff, a Red Cross worker from Utah, surveys the damage done by the Butte Fire in the community of Mountain Ranch in Calaveras County. Photo by Jordan Scott/American Red Cross
  • Red Cross volunteers unload trailers
    Red Cross volunteers unload trailers and load emergency response vehicles to distribute supplies to residents in the fire affected areas in Kelseyville. Photo by Jim Hobbs/American Red Cross
  • A big hug in front of her lost home. Taken in the town of Middleton and the surrounding area.
    A big hug in front of her lost home. Taken in the town of Middleton and the surrounding area. Photo by Russell Cole/American Red Cross
  • Liz Jackson
    Wildfire evacuee Liz Jackson (at right) distributes relief supplies as part of a Red Cross disaster team.
The uncertainty of whether people will have homes to return to makes this an emotionally draining time.

The American Red Cross continues to assist people in California where firefighters are gaining control of the wildfires which have charred more than 290,000 acres.

Some evacuation orders have been lifted in the region. However, many people are still out of their homes and more than 1,700 homes have been destroyed. Red Cross workers are providing shelter, meals, relief supplies and support to people impacted by the fires.

RED CROSS RESPONSE Several hundred people are still taking refuge from the fires in Red Cross and community shelters where they can find food and drinks, showers, support and information about the situation.

As people return home, Red Cross volunteers are loading trucks and traveling to affected neighborhoods with food and supplies.

“Our disaster workers are doing whatever we can to reach more people who need help,” said Jeff Baumgartner, American Red Cross of the California Northwest CEO. “We understand that people are living in very tough conditions. The uncertainty of whether people will have homes to return to makes this an emotionally draining time. Red Cross mental health volunteers are supporting residents as they learn the status of the homes.”

Red Cross volunteers are distributing cleaning, hygiene and comfort items, including water, snacks, non-perishable meals, and clean-up items such as gloves, buckets, trash bags and dust masks.

Red Cross caseworkers are meeting one-on-one with people to create recovery plans, navigate paperwork and locate help from other agencies. In some situations, the Red Cross is providing direct financial support to people who need extra help.

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP People can download the Red Cross Emergency App which contains information about what to do in case of wildfires and more. The app contains wildfire safety tips and users can set notifications for fire weather watches, red flag warnings, dense smoke advisories and air quality alerts. You can also use the “Family Safe” function to instantly contact loved ones. Users can find it in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

WILDFIRE SAFETY People can also get safety information by visiting the wildfire safety section of this web site.

HOW YOU CAN HELP Donations to the Red Cross are being used to provide help to people in need right now and will enable us continue providing help as communities recover. People can help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. We respond to nearly 70,000 other disasters every year, from home fires to wildfires and more. Learn more about how Disaster Relief donations have helped people affected by previous disasters including home fires.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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