What started as a house fire in southern California Wednesday quickly spread into The Bond Fire, a wildfire which so far has burned 3,600 acres in Silverado Canyon. The Cerritos Fire is also burning in Riverside County. The American Red Cross is on the ground, helping the hundreds of people impacted by these latest California blazes.
Officials warn that a Santa Ana wind event starting today, coupled with very dry conditions, could lead to critical fire circumstances through this weekend. In what has been a tough year for California regarding wildfires, thus far more than 9,200 incidents have incinerated more than 4.1 million acres and damaged or destroyed more than 10.400 structures.
The Bond Fire is burning near the site of the Silverado Fire which burned more than 13,000 acres and forced more than 90,000 people to evacuate in late October. The Cerritos Fire is zero percent contained. Mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders have been issued and Red Cross disaster workers have set up temporary evacuation points to provide assistance to those affected, including water and snacks and emergency lodging.
With extremely critical wildfire warnings up for parts of southern California due to the winds, the Red Cross urges those in the affected region to follow these safety steps:
- Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice and obey all evacuation orders from officials.
- If you’re trapped outdoors, crouch in a pond, river or pool.
- Listen and watch for air quality reports and health warnings about smoke.
After a wildfire:
- Don’t return home until officials say it’s safe to do so.
- Use caution when entering burned areas as hazards may still exist, including hot spots, which can flare up without warning.
- Avoid damaged or fallen power lines, poles and downed wires.
- Watch for ash pits and mark them for safety — warn family and neighbors to keep clear of the pits also.
- Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control. Hidden embers and hot spots could burn your pets’ paws or hooves.
- Wet debris down to minimize breathing dust particles.
- Wear work gloves and heavy soled shoes to protect hands and feet.
DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross app “Emergency” can help keep you and your loved ones safe with real-time alerts, shelter locations and safety advice on wildfires. The Red Cross First Aid App provides instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies. Download these apps for free by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.
YOU CAN HELP by making a donation or becoming a Red Cross volunteer.
The Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. You can help people affected by disasters like wildfires by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
If you have the time, you can make a significant impact as a Red Cross volunteer. Review our most urgently needed volunteer positions at redcross.org/volunteertoday. More information is available here.