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Local Red Cross Chapter Responds to California Wildfires

Several evacuation orders are being lifted as firefighters begin to contain wildfires blazing across northern California. These fires have burned over 200,000 acres of land in nine days.

Posted: Oct 16, 2017 10:10 PM
Updated: Oct 19, 2017 10:42 AM

Several evacuation orders are being lifted as firefighters begin to contain wildfires blazing across northern California. These fires have burned over 200,000 acres of land in nine days.

American Red Cross of Northwest Missouri Disaster Manager Karla Long was deployed to Sacramento, and said remnants of the flames can be seen everywhere.

"You can see this fine ash that just sort of sifts through the air all the time," Long said.

The first blaze began on October 8, and has since killed at least 40 people and injured over 100. The Red Cross sheltered over 2,000 people Sunday night.

"We continue to provide shelter to those who need it, and also start talking to families about what recovery might look like," Long said.

The Red Cross is working to provide food, water and supplies to those in need. Long said cleaning and rebuilding items like shovels or hammers, and things like cough drops, eye drops and face masks are what they need most.

Long says volunteers are also needed to aid in other relief efforts. The Red Cross is still responding to damage caused by several hurricanes within the last few months in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

Long said the difference between responding to a hurricane and a wildfire is the amount of time and notice people are given to evacuate.

"Many of these people with these wildfires, they had moments to leave their home. Moments to leave their neighborhood. So there wasn't time," Long said. "Many of them couldn't even get out of their car because the time just wasn't there. The fire just swept through so quickly."

To find out more about donating to the Red Cross or how to volunteer, visit their website.

 

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Temperatures today were slightly above average with highs in the upper 80s. Similar conditions are in store for Sunday as well as stronger winds with gusts up to 20mph. Tonight will be calm with lows in the upper 60s with very light wind. Temperatures will start off above average on Monday before a cold front moves through. That front will give us additional rain chances Monday night and some much more fall like temperatures through the rest of the week.
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