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California's Still Battling Its Worst Wildfire Ever. Here's How to Help 

Oregon fire crews now working on the blaze near Chico

At last estimate, the three wildfires burning in California had killed 42 people, with 200 still missing.

Fires have burned nearly 200,000 acres and displaced hundreds of thousands of people in Paradise, Calif. and Chico, and also around Malibu.

click image Drivers abandoned their cars to get away from the fire in Paradise, Calif. - MEREDITH J. COOPER, CHICO NEWS & REVIEW
  • Meredith J. Cooper, Chico News & Review
  • Drivers abandoned their cars to get away from the fire in Paradise, Calif.

Last Sunday, the Oregon Department of Forestry deployed two strike teams to help battle the Camp Fire blaze near Chico. The strike teams consist of five Type 6 engines—brush trucks that carry between 200-400 gallons of water, generally in a slide-in pump in the back of a modified pickup truck—two strike team leaders and an agency representative, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry. 



click image A fireplace and lawn ornaments are the surviving remnants of a home burned in Paradise, Calif. - MELISSA DAUGHERTY, CHICO NEWS & REVIEW
  • Melissa Daugherty, Chico News & Review
  • A fireplace and lawn ornaments are the surviving remnants of a home burned in Paradise, Calif.


The Center for International Disaster Information says that sending money is usually the most efficient way to help in a disaster. However, according to a story in the New York Times, people need to do their research before they donate. Charity Navigator is a good source to consult before sending money, The New York Times suggests. 


click image An abandoned shopping cart sits outside a Safeway store in Paradise, Calif. - MEREDITH J. COOPER, CHICO NEWS & REVIEW
  • Meredith J. Cooper, Chico News & Review
  • An abandoned shopping cart sits outside a Safeway store in Paradise, Calif.

Here are some of the nonprofits seeking donations to help those affected in California:

American Red Cross: The nonprofit has opened shelters across the state to help evacuees. They also have an online tool that people can use to register themselves as safe to they can be found.

California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund: According to The New York Times, for 15 years the foundation’s offered aid to those affected by wildfires, giving grants to rebuilding homes, providing financial and mental health assistance and helping people get medical treatment.

California Fire Foundation: The organization is on the ground distributing financial assistance to people who’ve lost everything in the fires. Through its emergency assistance program, firefighters distribute prepaid gift cards to help those who need to purchase must-have items like food, medicine and clothing.

The Salvation Army, The United Way of Greater Los Angeles and of Northern California, the North Valley Community Foundation, the Humane Society of Ventura County, the Entertainment Industry Foundation, Enloe Medical Center and Caring Choices are all taking donations to help the victims of the recent wildfires.

click to enlarge A map of damage from the fire near Chico and Paradise, Calif. - NASA
  • NASA
  • A map of damage from the fire near Chico and Paradise, Calif.
For updated stories on the Camp Fire, check out the Chico News & Review.
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