October 10, 2017
California’s Wine Country is in a state of emergency as more than a dozen wildfires burn through large swaths of land in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, and Yuba counties. The fires have destroyed at least 1,500 structures, caused at least 10 fatalities, and forced an estimated 20,000 North Bay residents to evacuate, with that number expected to rise.
If you’re local, the Sonoma Valley Visitor’s Bureau has a list of hotels offering special rates for evacuees and the Sacramento Bee has a list of ways for local people to help.
If you’re far away from the fires and want to help, here are a few options:
- Airbnb has launched its Open Homes program for those seeking shelter free-of-charge at a residence outside of but near the affected area. The company is also looking for those willing to volunteer space at their local home for evacuees.
- Petaluma officials have posted on social media asking people to donate supplies, including baby food, pet food, water, blankets, and toilet paper, to evacuation centers (NBC Bay Area has a full list of drop-off locations).
- San Francisco store Love on Haight is giving away free clothes to fire victims, if you are looking for a quick place to donate. They are also offering a few spots to stay in the city for evacuees.
- You can donate to the Red Cross, which helps distribute disaster relief aid. In addition to online donations, you can also call 1-800 RED CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
- Jake Kloberdanz, a local winery owner, also started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for fire and rescue organizations.
- GoFundMe has put together a centralized location for all the fundraising campaigns supporting relief efforts here.
- The Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund is collecting cash donations here.
- Donate to food pantries: Food pantries of Napa County, Food pantries of Yuba County, and Food pantries of Sonoma County.
- Donate to local animal shelters, which are helping people keep their pets safe. Humane Society of Sonoma County: sonomahumane.org, Humane Society of Napa County: napahumane.org, and Yuba-Sutter SPCA: yubasutterspca.org.