Camp Fire was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California’s history, its vicious flames devouring 153,336 acres of land, destroying 18,800 structures, and tragically claiming the lives of 85 people. Responding to the call for aid, Tzu Chi USA quickly mobilized, arriving on Nov. 8, 2018 – the very day the fire occurred – to deliver direct and compassionate relief.
Tzu Chi volunteers visited shelters in Chico, and while stationed for nearly two months in the Disaster Recovery Center, distributed blankets, cash cards, and more, to over 8,000 survivors. Perhaps most importantly, however, was the sincere love and care that volunteers provided, knowing that their Tzu Chi family was there for them.
Throughout January of 2019, Tzu Chi USA continued to aid communities, and introduced Tzu Chi’s long-term recovery plans, which additionally include disaster case management services for survivors. It will take time to recover, emotionally and financially, but hand-in-hand and shoulder-to-shoulder, we’ll endeavor to restore hope for those who struggle by putting compassion into concrete action.
Photos by: Huan Xun Chan
PARADISE, CA—On Nov. 8, thousands of Camp Fire survivors and community members celebrated the resilience exhibited in persevering through the aftermath of the disaster. To honor the 85 lives lost to the fire, Camp Fire survivors and Ridge community members observed a moment of silence lasting 85 seconds.
MAGALIA, CA— Camp Fire survivors and community members honor the loss of 85 lives.
PARADISE, CA—Survivors were pleased to see Tzu Chi volunteers at the memorial event, expressing their gratitude for Tzu Chi’s humanitarian relief, and shared their recovery stories. Emotions beyond words abounded at the memorial event as people hugged one another to show their love and support.
PARADISE, CA— Camp Fire survivor, Tom Kelly, was moved to have met with Minjhing Hsieh, Tzu Chi USA’s Northwest Regional Director once again. He’d learned Chinese characters many years prior, and asked Hsieh to write his name in Chinese.
MAGALIA, CA—The monument was built from the bricks of damaged homes. The monument was then placed within Magalia Community Church.
PARADISE, CA— Jessie Mercer, an artist from Chico, crafted a phoenix from the keys of houses, churches, and various other buildings. The project was unveiled during a Camp Fire remembrance ceremony in Paradise.
MAGALIA, CA—Hundreds of community members united to support each other as they remembered the losses they endured.
MAGALIA, CA—Pastor Kevin Lindstrom leads the prayer and memorial event at the Magalia Community Church. Tzu Chi USA has been working closely with Magalia Community Church to provide resources and services to survivors in the Upper Ridge area.