As you are aware, nearly two dozen large fires have been raging throughout Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties, sending 1000's of residents to evacuation centers and burning roughly 170,000 acres. 40 Local pastors met today to discuss next steps, however they themselves are at risk of losing their homes and churches. At this point, they are in desperate need of help but aren't quite ready to receive it as the fires are still very active and volatile.
What We know
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, about 3,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed by the fires.
The fires are driven by winds of more than 50 mph
As of late this (Wednesday) morning, 560 people in the county remain unaccounted for. It’s unclear if those who are still missing have been harmed, or are simply unable to reach friends and families, as fires have disabled much of the communication systems.
More than 25,000 people have fled homes.
There are shelters all over the North Bay that are set up to assist and temporarily house. for the list, click below:
How to get involved
40 Local pastors met yesterday to discuss next steps, however they themselves are at risk of losing their homes and churches. At this point, they are in desperate need of help but aren't quite ready for volunteers as the fires are still very active and volatile. These pastors have concluded an asset inventory and when the fires stop they will build a need assessment. At that point we will have a clearer picture of what is needed (i.e. physical products such as toothbrushes, blankets, clothing, etc) and will communicate. While the below may not seem like enough, it is what has been communicated by local teams until the fires are contained. At this stage, these pastors have identified 3 different critical needs:
- PRAY - continue to pray for all of the individuals affected by these devastating fires.
- GIVE -Redwood Gospel Mission has setup the Sonoma County Churches United Relief Fund. While there are several ways to give, Redwood Gospel Mission has identified more than 500 individuals, schools and churches that have been devastated by the Northern California Firestorm. Each entity is being paired by an informed expert in the region to be a liaison for real needs. The funds distributed go directly to the victims and are sophisticated in not overlapping federal relief, or other services provided. We encourage Pastors, individuals, and philanthropist alike to connect with the people they are serving and celebrate the rebuilding of their city over time.
- ENCOURAGE - Send videos of encouragement from all over the Bay during the service. Grab your iPhone (..or Android) and film a few words that you'd like them to hear. Pastors, record you and your congregation from the pulpit on Sunday morning. Load your videos to Instagram #fornorcal
- ADOPT - Over 400 congregants in North Bay churches have lost EVERYTHING. We are asking churches to adopt families/Pastors. We are currently working with a liaison who is conducting need assessments. Click Adopt for more info.
the collective group of pastors is overwhelmed with the level of support that they are receiving. Thank you all for responding urgently. please visit this page for updates as we learn more about containment and ever changing needs.