Sometimes one can’t fully lay the blame on the forces of nature for causing a disaster, as was the case with the Clayton Fire that began on August 13, 2016, near Clayton Creek in Lake County, California.
The blaze, which burned 3,929 acres and destroyed 300 buildings before it was finally contained, was caused by an arsonist, and this wasn’t the first fire he started in the area.
But for those affected by this unfortunate mishap, the cause made little difference, since the loss and hardship remain the same.
This blog presents updates on the progress of Tzu Chi USA’s disaster relief response following the start of the Clayton Fire, until the completion of the mission.
August 26: First Disaster Aid Distribution
By August 24, the Clayton Fire was 98% contained, and the recovery process for those impacted by the blaze was just beginning.
Tzu Chi volunteers hosted their first disaster relief distribution on August 26, handing out 51 cash cards to those affected by this tragedy.
For some aid recipients here in Lake County, this catastrophe didn’t begin in 2016.
One man shared his story with Tzu Chi volunteers, and recounted how he was also affected by the Valley Fire that caused havoc in the county in September 2015. He was dejected since he hadn’t been able to obtain insurance to cover his home since then, and this time he lost everything.
August 18 – Emergency Response Plans
An effective and efficient disaster relief response requires strategic planning. Tzu Chi volunteers held a meeting to formulate an optimum plan of action for their upcoming cash card distributions.
August 16 – Food for Survivors
Three days after the start of the Clayton Fire, Tzu Chi volunteers prepared and offered food to the disheartened families who had been evacuated to a shelter in Lakeport.