Fires began Oct. 8 in Northern California, and engulfed more than 220,000 acres across eight counties. As many as 10 fires burned through the state’s “Wine Country,” including in the cities of Santa Rosa and Anaheim. At least 42 people have died and hundreds of injuries have been reported, and those numbers are expected to rise.
In early December, several wildfires scorched Southern California, charring more than 250,000 acres from Santa Barbara to San Diego. The fires damaged or destroyed at least 1,100 structures.
Sources: Responding funders and NGOs, The New York Times, The LA Times, CNN, the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Interagency Fire Center.
Wildfires burned through 8.5 million acres across the country, well above the 6 million acre annual average for the past year. In California, more than 9,000 fires scorched nearly 1.4 million acres. This season has differed from past seasons because many fires have raged close to cities and population centers instead of remote areas. In California’s Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino, Yuba, Nevada, Calaveras and Butte counties, firefighters battled the 10 blazes through much of October.
At their height, the Northern California fires forced thousands to evacuate, knocked out power and gas service to nearly 100,000 customers and destroyed at least 8,400 homes and buildings.
The same scenario played out in Southern California. The Thomas Fire, which started Dec. 4 charred more than nearly 300,000 acres near Santa Barbara. It was fully contained on Jan. 12, 2018. It’s estimated as the seventh-most destructive wildfire in California history, having destroyed more than 1,000 structures. It forced the evacuation of more than 100,000 people, and it cost an estimated $177 million to fight.
Donors and California Funds
- The Albertsons Companies Foundation, $500,000 to unknown recipients.
- American Water Charitable Foundation Inc., $100,000 to Redwood Credit Union Community Fund, North Bay Fire Relief.
- Arts Council Napa County has launched a fund to fund the local creative community.
- AT&T Inc. Contributions Program, $250,000 to multiple recipients.
- Chevron Global Fund, $500,000 to American Red Cross.
- Community Foundation of Sonoma County has launched the Sonoma County Resilience Fund.
- The Community Foundation of Mendocino County has launched the Disaster Fund for Mendocino County.
- Creative Sonoma has established a local fund for individual members of the creative community.
- E & J Gallo Winery Corporate Giving Program, $333,000 to American Red Cross, $333,000 to Community Foundation of Sonoma, $333,000 to Napa Valley Community Foundation.
- The First 5 Association and First 5 California are raising money for families with babies and young children.
- The Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund has established the North Bay Wildfire Emergency Fund.
- McKesson Corporation Contributions Program, $100,000 to American Red Cross.
- Napa Valley Community Foundation has mobilized its Disaster Relief Fund.
- Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties’ community foundations have mobilized the Northern California Fire Fund.
- NBCUniversal Inc. Contributions Program, $500,000 to Redwood Credit Union Community Fund, North Bay Fire Relief.
- Pacific Gas & Electric Company Contributions Program, $1 million to North Bay Fire Recovery Fund, $25,000 to Puertas Abiertas Community Resource Center, $25,000 to Los Cien, $15,000 to Santa Rosa Firefighters Local 1401, $935,000 to unknown recipients.
- The Rite Aid Foundation, $50,000 to American Red Cross.
- Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of America Inc. Contributions Program, $100,000 to multiple recipients.
- Sutter Health Corporate Giving Program, $250,000 to American Red Cross.
- UndocuFund for Fire Relief in Sonoma County has been launched by a coalition of immigrant service providers and advocates to provide direct assistance to undocumented victims of the Northern California fires.
- United Way of Wine Country is providing immediate assistance and has launched a joint fund with United Way of the Bay Area for long-term recovery.
- Wells Fargo & Company Contributions Program, $200,000 to American Red Cross, $100,000 to Salvation Army, $200,000 to multiple recipients.
Please send your updates for donations and funds to email@example.com.
- American Red Cross is working to provide shelters for those displaced and first responders and emergency supplies for those affected.
- The California Bar Foundation is proving legal aid to groups in affected regions of the state.
- California Child Care Resource and Referral Network is helping local members start the recovery process and coordinating with state and federal resources to support parents and providers.
- California Volunteers is mobilizing around those who have evacuated from the fire areas and around animal needs.
- Direct Relief has offered emergency assistance to California’s Office of Emergency Services, the Napa County Public Health Department, and more than 40 health centers and clinics in the affected region.
- Feeding America has four member food banks working to assist those affected by the fires.
- Habitat for Humanity has four affiliates in the affected areas and is performing rapid ongoing assessments as access is allowed. Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County is already working on plans to rebuild once needs assessments are complete.
- Redwood Empire Food Bank is working to ensure access to food for those affected by wildfires.
- United Policyholders is guiding total and partial loss survivors on insurance, repairs and rebuilding and training Disaster Case Managers on helping clients with insurance matters.
If you are a responding NGO, please send your updates to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- California Resources for those affected can be found here.
- The latest on California fires can be found here.
- Read the CDP Wildfire Issue Insight
- Read CDP funding strategies for wildfires here.
- Review the CDP Playbook for response strategies and mechanisms.
- Climate conditions behind California’s deadly wildfires.