How to Help Victims of the Southern California Wildfires

Several charities have stepped up to help the nearly 200,000 people who have been displaced from their homes by raging wildfires in Southern California. Here are ways to contribute:

  • Thomas Fire Fund: The United Way of Ventura County has teamed up with the American Red Cross of Venutra County and the Venutra County Sheriff's Office of Emergency. Click here to donate.
  • The Salvation Army - Southern California: The Salvation Army is accepting food and water donations at the Venutra County Fairgrounds. You can also donate at the Salvation Army website.
  • American Red Cross Ventura County Chapter: The American Red Cross has up-to-date information about volunteering on its Facebook page. You can also donate at the American Red Cross website.
  • The Humane Society of Ventura County: The Humane Society of Ventura County is helping pets and other animals at 402 Bryant Street in Ojai. You can drop off Alfalfa hay, Timothy hay, cat chow, rabbit food, flashlights, headlamps, lanterns, water troughs, bottled water, fruit, snacks, hoses, and power generators to help. You can also make donations at their website.
  • Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation: You can make donations to this foundation at their website. They help train, supply and equip first responders who rescue animals.
  • GoFundMe Accounts: GoFundMe has put together a list of verified campaigns you can donate to here.

The Creek Fire threatened 2,500 homes as of Thursday morning, according to Los Angeles County police. That fire covers 14,000 acres and 30 to 50 structures have been damaged. The Rye Fire covers 7,000 acres, while the Skirball Fire caused part of the Interstate-405 freeway to be closed.

CalFire reports that the Thomas Fire in Ventura County has burned 96,000 acres and is only 5 percent contained. An estimated 15,000 structures are threatened and 73 residential structures have already been destroyed.

"This fire is very dangerous and spreading rapidly, but we'll continue to attack it with all we've got," Gov. Jerry Brown said on Tuesday, when he declared a state of emergency in Ventura County. "It's critical residents stay ready and evacuate immediately if told to do so."

Photo credit: Getty / Wally Skalij