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Donations and volunteers are needed to help those affected by wildfires.
Wildfires continue to spread across Southern California, destroying hundreds of homes and displacing thousands of residents.
On Wednesday, hundreds of Los Angeles and Ventura schools closed as a result of the vicious blazes. The 405 Freeway, a major Southern California pipeline, was closed in certain areas. Bel-Air, Ventura County, Santa Clarita, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles have all seen major fires this week.
Fire burning off 405 freeway near Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles. Source: Shannon Wilson pic.twitter.com/3BG4DqlLx4— Jeff Nguyen (@jeffnguyen) December 6, 2017
Not the typical morning commute... pic.twitter.com/kJIOQeqsIK— A. Mutzabaugh CMT (@WLV_investor) December 6, 2017
Even after these wildfires are put out, the victims will still need help and support. Here are some ways you can assist Southern Californians who are being affected by these natural disasters:
1. Donate directly to Thomas Fire victims
The Thomas Fire in Venture County is the largest in the state, blazing across more than 65,000 acres and forcing 27,000 people to evacuate, according to the Washington Post. Text “UWVC” to 41444 to donate those affected by the Thomas Fire.
2. Donate to the California Fire Foundation
This foundation provides support for both the families of firefighters and the members of the communities they serve. You can make a one-time contribution to the foundation or a recurring contribution online.
3. Donate to the American Red Cross Wildfire Relief
Donations to the Red Cross support emergency responders, serve meals to people in need, provide shelters for displaced families, deliver relief supplies, provide medical care, and create recovery plans.
4. Register to become a Red Cross volunteer
You can register online to help communities in your area.
5. Donate food and water to the Salvation Army Ventura Corps
The Salvation Army is set up at the Ventura County Fairgrounds and asking for donations.
We are at the fairgrounds and available to help if needed. Also, donations of water and snacks are appreciated as we attempt to help all who have been displaced.Posted by The Salvation Army Ventura Corps on Tuesday, December 5, 2017
6. Donate to the Humane Society of Ventura County—or adopt or foster a pet
Hundreds of animals have also been displaced by the wildfires. Donations to the Humane Society would be a great way to help out. If you want to take it a step further, look into adopting or fostering a displaced animal.
7. Donate to the LA County Animal Care Foundation or adopt a pet
If you are a resident of Southern California, here are some resources to stay up to date about the wildfires and help you prepare in case you are asked to evacuate:
Visit the state’s government website to view incident information about fires and updates for mandatory evacuations.
Be prepared to evacuate and know what items to take with you. Also, have a pet disaster plan in place.
If you are in an area with a large amount of smoke, be careful and aware of the health risks.
Smoke Advisory Updated: Unhealthy air quality especially in San Fernando Valley and coastal areas due to #CreekFire and #SkirballFire. Smoke & health can be harmful to health. Follow these precautions: https://t.co/IQ3gw7or2P @LACoFDPIO @LAFD @LAPDHQ @LASDHQ @ReadyLA @LACOOEM pic.twitter.com/FLv3gSMdyB— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) December 6, 2017
Watch, read, and follow your local TV news stations, radio news stations, and newspapers to keep up with the wildfires. And stay safe out there, folks.
Brianna Stone is a reporter and digital producer. Her work has been published by the Austin American-Statesman, the Daily Dot, and USA Today.