In yet another sudden outbreak in this never-ending fire season, a state of emergency was declared as aggressive wildfires ripped through Boulder County, Colorado. Hundreds of homes are destroyed, thousands under mandatory evacuation and power outages continue as evacuations centers and shelters open to provide respite. Snowfall following the fire has compounded the misery for many still without power.
The Marshall Fire, which started Dec. 30, was fluid and fueled by powerful winds and dry land.
We are reaching out to partners and ready to respond to needs as they appear.
The San Francisco Bay Area experienced a sudden transition – a very tense fire season that gave way to record-setting rain, flooding, mudslides, and a historic and fire-season-ending storm. Record snowfalls and heavy rains have swept over areas just devastated by wildfires during a record-setting fire season.
The 2021wildfire season has seen nearly two million acres burned in the state of California alone. The Alisal Fire burned 17,254 acres across Santa Barbara County to date. The one-week old fire is now contained , and none of Americares existing partners are under threat from the fire or smoke. Dry conditions across the western states persist and new fires are started regularly, though none currently threaten ongoing Americares partners. The ER Team has monitored conditions and fire activity that continued in several western states, where more than 100 large fires have burned millions of acres this year. Americares has deployed response experts, focusing on California and Oregon. Americares has provided financial assistance to four partners in Oregon and one partner in California. Grant activities include supporting mobile medical unit operations as well as funding nutrition kits, gas cards, and emergency rent relief to low income individuals affected by the extreme heat and wildfires.
The Alisal Fire near Santa Barbara was the latest threat in a brutal fire season for California that has seen 7,883 fires this year according to Cal Fire. The state was battling nine major fires before the record-setting rain storm that has produced serious flooding.
The Caldor Fire, which started in early August, initially consumed over 170,000 acres as it threatened a number of communities and moved perilously close to the Lake Tahoe area, initially prompting more evacuation orders in endangered communities. The threat to the Tahoe area has decreased somewhat as the weather has moderated and helped efforts by firefighters to keep the fire from reaching populated areas. As the fire crossed into Nevada, authorities issued an emergency declaration.
The Dixie Fire, which ignited on July 13 from a downed power line in rural Butte County, California, has burned more than one million acres making it the largest fire burning in CA and second largest in the state’s history. At least 20 regions in Butte and Plumas counties had mandatory evacuation orders, and 6 regions had evacuation notices.
In response to these fires and in preparation for more outbreaks across California, Americares staff members deployed to California where they met with partners in the LA County, San Francisco Bay, and Sacramento area to assess needs and discuss preparedness efforts.
The Bootleg Fire, which started on July 5 north of Sprague River, Oregon burned 413,762 acres and is the largest fire of 2021. Although containment efforts have been successful, the megafire still holds a lot of heat and will likely not fully burn out until late fall or early winter when moisture increases and temperature decreases.
In response to this fire, Americares staff members were deployed to Oregon to meet with partners in Klamath Falls who had been affected by the fire in addition to other partners across the state who may become impacted by fires later in the season.