Alaska Red Cross Volunteers Deployed to California Wildfires

Nine American Red Cross of Alaska volunteers have been deployed in the past 48 hours to provide support and comfort to those affected by wildfires in California

ANCHORAGE, July 31, 2018 – More than 90 wildfires are raging around the country. In Northern California, devastating fires are burning across more than 110,000 acres, forcing residents from their homes. The American Red Cross is there, providing shelter and comfort for those affected. Among those providing shelter and hope are nine Red Cross of Alaska staff members and volunteers who have deployed to the affected areas in the past two days.

One of several large wildfires in California, the Carr Fire near Redding, California, is now ranked as one of the top 10 most destructive wildfires in California’s history. It is only about 23 percent contained. The fire has destroyed more than 1,000 structures and is threatening just over 4,000 more. Mandatory evacuations were ordered throughout the region, where conditions are unpredictable due to variable winds and blazing temperatures. Steep terrain is also challenging firefighting efforts.

Alaska Red Cross volunteers from Fairbanks, Mat-Su, Kenai and Southeast, Alaska have deployed to provide assistance with shelter operations and supervision, and as nurses to support victims of the Carr Fire. Shayne Jones, Disaster Program Manager for the American Red Cross serving the Far North and Interior Alaska deployed as a shelter supervisor this morning.

More than 1,000 people sought refuge from the inferno overnight (7/30/18) in 11 Red Cross and community run shelters in California. Along with community partners, the Red Cross is providing hot meals and distributing comfort kits to impacted families.

HOW YOU CAN HELP You can help people affected by disasters like wildfires and countless other crisis by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Visit redcross.org or text REDCROSS 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. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter, or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37864, Boone, IA 50037-0864.

As wildfires rage in California, Red Cross teams and local officials are working around the clock to provide relief in affected communities. Photo Credit: Kris Warner/American Red Cross

You can also help people affected by the California wildfires. Donors can designate their donation to the California wildfires relief efforts and the Red Cross will honor donor intent. The best way to ensure your donation will go to a specific disaster is to write the specific disaster name in the memo line of a check. We also recommend completing and mailing the donation form on redcross.org with your check. The Red Cross honors donor intent, and all donations earmarked for California wildfires will be used for our work to support these disasters.

For more information on the developing situation, please visit: http://www.redcross.org/news/article/California-Wildfires-Red-Cross-Providing-Shelter-as-People-Flee-Their-Homes

About the American Red Cross of Alaska:
In FY18, the American Red Cross of Alaska offered food, shelter, comfort and hope to 892 Alaskans. We responded to 308 disasters. Our preparedness/Health and Safety teams installed 2,309 smoke alarms statewide and educated 1,722 youth through our Pillowcase Project. Additionally, our Service to the Armed Forces staff exchanged 1,161 emergency messages for U.S. military service personnel and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/Alaska or visit us on Twitter at @redcrossak.

Attached Photo Credit: Kris Warner/American Red Cross