California Wildfires

STATUS
Active Emergency
DATE
November 01, 2018 -Present
REGION
California
Credit:Photo by Gene Blevins / REUTERS

Deadly Fires

The Camp Fire in Northern California and the Woolsey Fire in Southern California burned more than 250,000 acres in California in one week – larger than the cities of Boston and Chicago combined. Officials report 87 deaths and nearly 19,500 structures destroyed. 

The Camp Fire – finally contained after several inches of rain -- became the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history, destroying about 11,200 homes and scorched 153,000 acres in Butte County. In addition to the death toll, officials report dozens are still listed as missing. While the number of missing may include duplicates or lower as survivors identify themselves, the death toll is expected to rise. More than 47,000 people were evacuated. Evacuation orders have been lifted allowing people in communities to return to their homes. Smoke from California’s wildfires caused northern parts of the state to record the worst levels of air quality in the world according to organizations tracking this data.  Photo: REUTERS/Stephen Lam

 

 

Americares Response

Americares response team was intially based in Sacramento where any physical activity outside was limited due to the air conditions, a situation that is unprecedented in California. Conversations with partners indicated health facilities in fire affected areas were damaged or destroyed. Americares continues to coordinate with partners, including local health partners, the Northern California VOAD, California Office of Emergency Services, and FEMA.

Americares team has been active with direct local deliveries including masks to a local health facility in Nevada City just as they were running out of stocks provided by the health department. The team also delivered OTC medicines, hygiene items and clean supplies for a shelter in Yuba City. The Nevada City facility was affected by the smoke and made sure all of their patients received masks and provided them for the local volunteer fire department to distribute to survivors throughout the community. Shipments of medicines and medical supplies, including insulin, analgesics and respiratory meds have arrived, supporting a local health center in Yuba City. Additional shipments, including hygiene items and cleanup supplies, continue.