News

Big Island Red Cross Volunteer Deploys to California Wildfires

November 12, 2018, 2:43 PM HST
* Updated November 12, 6:07 PM
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Deadly wildfires are burning out of control in both northern and southern California, threatening entire communities and forcing over 300,000 people to evacuate. The American Red Cross is on the ground working with partners to provide shelter, food and comfort for people forced to leave their homes with little notice.

U.S. Forest Service photo.

The northern California Camp Fire has burned over 113,000 acres and has already destroyed over 6,400 homes. The fire is only 25% contained and is threatening 15,000 more homes. The Camp Fire is now the most destructive fire in California history.

In southern California, the Hill and Woosley fires are threatening communities west of Los Angeles. The largest, the Woosley Fire, is only 20% contained and has burned over 91,000 acres and destroyed about 370 homes.

Red Cross volunteers are supporting evacuation centers to provide safe refuge for people impacted by these devastating fires, providing meals, health and mental health services and other support.

  • A Big Island Red Cross nurse volunteer deployed Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, to assist residents with heath care needs at one of the 18 community evacuation centers across the state.
  • More local volunteers are on standby to deploy.

The Red Cross has enough supplies to shelter as many as 7,000 people, including special equipment to support people with access and functional needs.  Relief supplies including sifters, personal protective equipment, respiratory masks, rakes, shovels, work gloves, and tarps are being mobilized to serve as many as 15,000 households.

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STAY IN TOUCH. People can reconnect with loved ones through both the Red Cross Safe and Well website, and by using the “I’m Safe” feature of the Red Cross Emergency App. The Safe and Well 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.

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HOW YOU CAN HELP.  Entire communities and families have been left reeling from deadly wildfires. Help people affected by the California wildfires online, phone (1-800-RED CROSS or (808) 739-8109)) or text (CAWILDFIRES to 90999) to make a $10 donation. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.

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