Here’s How to Help Victims of the Wine Country Wildfires

As wildfires devastating wide swaths of California’s wine country rage into their sixth day, the region remains in a state of emergency.

With 29 fatalities by Thursday, the body count has already surpassed historic heights. The flames tore through at least 2,000 structures and forced more than 20,000 people to evacuate in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake and Yuba counties. More than 1,000 people remain missing.

It may take weeks, if not months, to assess the full scope of destruction. But the need for help in the affected communities is immediate.

Supplies are needed, of course, but aid organizations on the ground say they’re already inundated with items. One of the most effective ways to help is to give money.

San Jose Inside’s parent newspaper, Metro Silicon Valley, has set up a fund for donations for the fire relief effort. Metro’s sister paper, the North Bay Bohemian, was forced to close the office as reporters continue to cover the disaster as it unfolds.

Though the Bohemian staff is safe, one employee lost her home and others are staying with friends or relatives until the smoke clears.

Click here to visit the donation page. Below is a list of other ways to help.

  • Volunteers created a public Google doc to list available housing for people displaced by the fire.
  • Undocumented immigrants have been afraid to seek help because of ICE’s ramped-up enforcement. Advocacy groups that work closely with immigrants will need extra support, as undocumented residents can’t qualify for federal disaster aid.
  • People with land can open it up to evacuees via Hipcamp.

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