The Valley Fire began north of San Francisco on September 12th, and quickly grew to a massive fast-moving blaze: Ten days later, President Obama declared a major disaster for what is now the 4th most destructive wildfire in California’s history.
Tzu Chi’s Northwest Region quickly mobilized volunteers from Northern California to provide emergency relief and support to affected communities. They just finished assessing the damage in the Lake County area, and will be distributing cash cards in Middletown on September 26-27 (10am-6pm). Since a lot of roads have been destroyed or damaged, even getting there will be a challenge, but they won’t be deterred.
This disastrous inferno killed at least 3, forced the evacuation of 12,000, destroyed nearly 2,000 structures (including 1,238 homes) and left 3,000 homeless. Those affected are hurting in many ways. As the ferocious flames of an uncontrolled wildfire rip across a landscape, it’s hard to imagine the terror of those in its path. Tzu Chi’s volunteers know that the financial aid will bring material relief, but the hugs and love shared is equally important: It will help people recover from their trauma, and the shock and distress of returning to the charred remains of their homes.