SANTA ROSA (June 25, 2018) — The Pawnee Fire, a fast-moving wildfire, is threatening residents, homes, and businesses in Lake County, and the American Red Cross is working alongside partners to provide shelter, food, and comfort for people forced to leave their homes with little notice.
The fire has already scorched thousands of acres and forced more than a thousand of people to evacuate. An estimated 1,200 people have been ordered to evacuate and hundreds of structures are in the path of the fires. For the latest evacuation information, visit the Lake County Sheriff's Office website: lakesheriff.com
The exceptionally dry weather and high winds in California could spark additional fires, and the existing fires may spread rapidly and unpredictably. Firefighters are battling blazes throughout Northern California.
Red Cross disaster workers have opened a shelter at Lower Lake High School (9430 Lake Street, Lower Lake, CA), where people can find safe refuge from the fires. Additional supplies and volunteers are being mobilized now.
The Red Cross is also providing meals, health services, comfort and other support for affected residents.
Additional cots, blankets and emergency relief supplies are being mobilized now to support relief efforts. Volunteers from across Northern California are now traveling in the area to support sheltering, feeding, logistics and planning efforts.
The Red Cross is also working closely with government and community partners to coordinate relief efforts. Some of the partners we are working with include The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Lake County Social Services, and Lake County Animal Care & Control.
Lake County Animal Care & Control’s LEAP program is helping with sheltering of evacuated animals at Lower Lake High School. Large Animal staging is located at Social Service Center, 15975 Anderson Ranch Parkway, Lower Lake, CA. For additional animal needs, call animal control at (707) 263-0278. This is also the same number to call for urgent boarding of large and small animals (as of 6/24 there is still room)
You can help people affected by disasters big and small, like the California wildfires and countless other crises, by making a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief.
Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to, and help people recover from disasters big and small. Call, click, or text to give: visit redcross.org, call 1-800 RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999
IN-KIND DONATIONS: We know Americans are generous and want to do everything they can to help after a disaster. Unfortunately, collecting and sending food, clothing and other household items often does more harm than good. Instead, the best way to support disaster victims is with a financial donation.
It takes time and money to store, sort, clean and distribute donated items, which diverts limited time and resources away from helping those most affected. In contrast, financial donations can be accessed quickly to support those affected, and be put to use right away. With a financial donation, individuals can buy what they need and want.
Storing donated items can also result in thousands of dollars in warehousing, cleaning, transportation and handling fees – whereas financial donations allow us to be flexible to give those directly affected by wildfires what they need most.
Our first priority is the safety and well-being of those affected by disasters. Unfortunately, some well-intentioned donations of clothing or other items may be inadvertently soiled or dirty, which can cause illness. Financial donations don’t pose any health risks and can be used right away to replace items like medications and reading glasses.
Before collecting or dropping off donations of food, clothing or household items, please call to see if these items are needed. On some occasions, the Red Cross will accept donations, except for homemade food, at our shelters.
HOW TO VOLUNTEER: Trained Red Cross volunteers are currently staffing shelters and supporting residents. As the disaster continues to evolve, the Red Cross will assess how community volunteers can best support the operation.
Please apply online to become a Red Cross volunteer tinyurl.com/ARCPawnee if you are interested in helping with this response or responses like this in the future.
STAY CONNECTED WITH LOVED ONES: Visit the Red Cross Safe and Well website at redcross.org/safeandwell to reconnect with loved ones.
The site allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe or to search for loved ones. The site is always available, open to the public and available in Spanish. Registrations and searches can be done directly on the website. Registrations can also be completed by texting SAFE to 78876.
You can also use the “I’m Safe” feature of the Red Cross Emergency App to let loved ones know your status.
WILDFIRE SAFETY STEPS: The Red Cross urges everyone to follow evacuation orders from local law enforcement and to have an emergency kit ready to go.
Listen to your local media for updates on the fire and be ready to leave quickly. Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing your direction of escape.
Keep your pets in one room so you can find them quickly if you have to evacuate.
Arrange for a temporary place to stay outside the threatened area.
Keep your indoor air clean – close windows and doors to prevent the smoke outside from getting in your home.
Use the recycle mode on the air conditioner in your home or car. If you don’t have air conditioning and it’s too hot to be inside, seek shelter somewhere else.
If smoke levels are high, don’t use anything that burns and adds to air pollution inside
Don’t go home until fire officials say it is safe. Be cautious about entering a burned area – hazards could still exist.
Avoid damaged or downed power lines, poles and wires.
Keep your animals under your direct control. Hidden embers and hot spots could burn them.
Wet down debris to minimize breathing dust particles.
Wear leather gloves and shoes with heavy soles.
Throw out any food that has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot.
Recheck for smoke or sparks throughout your home for several hours after the fire, including in your attic. Wildfire winds can blow burning embers anywhere so check for embers that could cause a fire.
UPDATES TO THIS PRESS RELEASE CAN BE FOUND AT THIS POST ON THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA COASTAL REGION'S BLOG SITE.
About American Red Cross of the California Northwest:
With office locations in Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, and Sonoma counties, the American Red Cross is a non-profit, humanitarian organization that depends on the generous contributions of time and money from residents and companies to provide services and programs that help our community to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies. For more information, visit our website at redcross.org/calnw or call us at 1-707-577-7600. You may also find us on Facebook.