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California and Pacific Northwest Wildfires

Highly-rated nonprofits providing relief and recovery to communities impacted by wildfires in California, Oregon & Washington

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Update: Since we launched this Hot Topic, the raging wildfires that began in California, have expanded to additional areas of the state.  Environmental and climatic factors such as those we've previously mentioned, i.e. the extreme heat, the lack of rain, dry foliage and landscape, as well as recent unfortunate instances of public behaviors have all contributed. More than 470,000 acres in The August Complex have been burned and is now the largest wildfire in California history.  We are updating this topic as wildfires have also been devastating Oregon and Washington State. The wildfires have left a trail of death, environmental destruction and concerns, such as poor air quality, as California continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

The State of California has had its share of devastating wildfires over the years, and the summer season of 2020 has been extraordinary. On August 18, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a Statewide Emergency due to raging fires (some reports indicate over 500) and extreme weather conditions, which have included lightning strikes, a prolonged heatwave, dry air and wind gusts of up to 75 mph. At least seven people have lost their lives, and hundreds of homes and vehicles have been destroyed. Over a million acres have been burned, 100,000 residents have been forced to evacuate, and thousands of buildings are being threatened.

Some experts are suggesting that these devastating wildfires may be California’s “new normal,” but that doesn’t make them any less destructive or difficult for the individuals and communities affected by them. Complicating matters further, California is battling a surge in COVID cases within the state, reporting over 663,000 cases on August 22. Effects from the wildfires, such as poor air quality and displacement of residents limiting the ability to social distance, are cause for concern. Fortunately, a number of highly-rated organizations are committed to providing emergency services like food, water, shelter, and medical care to those impacted by the fires, and helping communities recover and rebuild in their wake.

Please help the residents of California and surrounding areas that have been impacted today by supporting one of these trustworthy charities listed on this page. Charity Navigator will continuously update this resource as other nonprofits providing direct relief are identified and vetted by our analyst team.

To nonprofits, if you are a 3- or 4-Star rated charity working on the ground in California or providing financial support, please complete the survey linked here for your organization to be reviewed for this list.

Designated donations made from this page will be applied to charity programs per each charity's designation policies.

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