From Yahoo Style: How to Help the Victims of California’s Latest Wildfires

August 26, 2020 by Savannah Walsh

From Town & Country

Wildfires rage on in California, engulfing over 1 million acres during the past week with no clear end in sight. More than 250,000 people in Northern California have been evacuated from their homes and seven people have died as a result of the blazes, per The Associated Press. Cal Fire officials have attributed the state’s 585 fires over the past week to lightning strikes, dry terrain, and a recent heatwave.

Two of those fires—at Bay Area and Central Valley’s LNU Lightning Complex and east of San Jose’s SCU Lightning Complex Fire—now rank as California’s second and third-largest recorded wildfires, The Guardian reports. “We simply haven’t seen anything like this in many, many years,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared over the weekend. Wildfires in the state have caused more fatalities and destruction this year than all of 2019. Last year, wildfires reportedly ravaged 260,000 acres and killed three people.

13,000 firefighters have been dispatched to the area, some on 24-hour shifts, according to CNN. But Cal Fire has warned that number will not be enough to prevent fires from spreading. Part of the rescue shortage is owed to fewer prison inmates assisting, per CNN. The COVID-19 pandemic led to 600 fewer inmate firefighters than last year, Cal Fire notes. A Presidential Major Disaster Declaration has been issued, meaning federal aid is coming California’s way. But evacuees fear the coronavirus at local shelters and a lack of resources threatens more record-setting damages. (Track the wildfires here.) Your support is needed to help those devastated by the latest round of deadly wildfires in California.

Here’s how you can help:

As always, speak up about climate change.

California’s latest influx of fires showcases how climate change has dangerously escalated natural disasters. Contact your representatives to enact policy reform when it comes to addressing this dire issue and its impact on our planet.

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