CDP California Wildfires Recovery Fund

Support this fund

Since 2017, California has experienced record-breaking wildfires and fire seasons.

So far in 2024, California has seen more than 150,000 acres burned. Although wetter-than-usual conditions in 2023 and winter of 2024 have helped keep fire damage down from previous years, the threat, particularly in dryer areas of the state, continues.

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s California Wildfires Recovery Fund supports communities across the state as they work to rebuild and recover from wildfires. Share on X

Since its inception, CDP has awarded grants to nonprofits and community groups in northern and southern California to help families and entire communities recover through targeted grantmaking that prioritizes medium- to long-term recovery, especially among populations made vulnerable by systemic inequities.

Additionally, CDP recognizes that the disaster cycle does not end after a fire is extinguished. As the severity of the fires intensifies, grantmakers and donors must increase their support before and after wildfires to better position communities to prepare, mitigate, respond and recover.

To effectively address the growing wildfire threat in California, CDP’s experts work directly with local nonprofits to identify specific needs and gaps in funding. CDP consults with many of its in-state partners, such as the governor’s Office of Emergency Service (Cal OES) and other agencies, to assess the long-term needs of affected communities and build collaborative partnerships.

With an intersectional racial equity lens and an emphasis on medium- and long-term recovery, CDP works to identify the best way to direct financial support where it is needed most in California.

This fund supports preparedness and mitigation efforts throughout the state and recovery from:

The growing wildfire threat in California

In 2017, the Tubbs Fire destroyed more than 5,600 structures and claimed 22 lives in Napa and Sonoma counties. In 2018, we witnessed the most destructive wildfire in the state’s history when the Camp Fire took 85 lives and destroyed more than 18,800 structures. In 2019, more than 6,800 fire incidents in California burned hundreds of thousands of acres across the state, including the Kincade Fire that forced over 185,000 to flee from their homes in Sonoma County. In 2020, close to 10,000 fires burned more than 4.2 million acres, resulting in 33 deaths and damage or destruction to nearly 10,400 structures.

2021’s Dixie Fire is the second-largest wildfire in California’s history, behind only 2020’s August Complex, which destroyed more than a million acres.

And in 2022, Cecile Juliette, public information officer of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said, “10-15 years ago, we used to call it the ‘California fire season,’ where we might get fires, say, in July that would last through maybe September or October. So, it was just a few months. Now our fires are extending all the way through December and then into January. So it’s not really accurate to call it a fire season.

Funding focus areas

Areas of focus for this fund include:

  • Advocacy for equitable recovery. This includes support for those advocating for wage earners and workers who lost their income as a result of the wildfires, affordable housing, housing repair and utility assistance.
  • Social services. We fund programs for disproportionately affected populations, such as older adults, undocumented and mixed-status families, people with physical or mental health challenges, and people living in poverty, to strengthen existing social services and address the additional needs that arise with disasters.
  • Access to food. We support initiatives that address food insecurity, including food sovereignty and agricultural support programs.
  • Leadership accountability and trustworthy information. We support efforts to ensure those holding leadership positions are accountable for systems failures. We also fund organizations working to disseminate accurate information about existing challenges.
  • Mitigation and preparedness. We support building response capacity and improving infrastructure to mitigate risks to the most marginalized communities affected.
  • Affordable housing. We support programs for uninsured homeowners and renters to rebuild and/or find affordable housing.
  • Long-term recovery groups. We provide funding to long-term recovery groups supporting community recovery and resilience.

With support from our California Wildfires Recovery Fund, our grantee partners are helping affected communities rebuild stronger.

Meet all grantee partners

Supporting Indigenous-led fire management

Read the story

More stories

See all stories

Thank you to the following donors for their generous support of the CDP California Wildfires Recovery Fund.

Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust
General motors logo
Expedia Group logo
Apple Inc
  • Libbie F. Gerry Foundation
  • Caterpillar Foundation
  • Bright Funds Foundation
  • The Crown Family
  • The Gap Foundation
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund
  • Sozosei Foundation
  • UKG
  • The Wallace Foundation
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of California

Show more

Your support has a direct and significant impact on our efforts to help survivors and communities rebuild stronger than before the wildfires.

Support this fund

Connect With Us

For more information on the situation and to learn about available resources, contact Sally Ray, Director, Domestic Funds.

To make a gift or learn more about the Fund, please contact our Development Team.

Fund updates

See them all