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How to Help Victims of the California Wildfires


Good morning.

Record-setting wildfires in California have leveled entire communities and displaced thousands of residents. As the fires continue to burn, relief organizations are on the ground providing support for victims and emergency workers.

For those looking to help people affected by the wildfires, we’ve compiled a list of organizations operating in the state. Remember, unsolicited donations of items like food can actually overwhelm relief organizations, so it’s best to check what is needed before giving.

For a comprehensive list, California’s Office of Emergency Services has also partnered with Philanthropy California to maintain a vetted list of relief funds where you can safely donate cash. You can also consult GuideStar or Charity Navigator for a list of trustworthy organizations that are working to provide aid to wildfire victims.

ImageThe Bobcat Fire in Monrovia on Tuesday.
Credit…Mario Tama/Getty Images
  • California laid out new rules to make insurance more affordable in fire-prone areas. But the changes could backfire, pushing more insurers to stop offering coverage in areas where fire risk is rising. [The New York Times]

  • On Thursday, Bay Area residents were able to enjoy blue skies for the first time in weeks after experiencing 30 consecutive days of “Spare the Air” warnings. [The Mercury News]

  • Dozens of people and nine firefighters mounted a last stand, hoping for a miracle, after wildfires left them trapped on the shores of a reservoir near Detroit, Ore. [The New York Times]

  • Providing disaster relief to wildfire victims has changed during the pandemic, with no mass dining halls, in-person counseling or hugs given to traumatized evacuees. [Los Angeles Times]

  • A statewide survey released on Tuesday by the Public Policy Institute of California found that fewer than a third of likely voters would vote in favor of Proposition 16, which would remove the ban on affirmative action involving race-based or sex-based preferences from the California Constitution. [EdSource]

  • Travelers from California can now head to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut without facing a required 14-day quarantine. [Los Angeles Times]

  • Two men died 18 months apart from each other at the home of a West Hollywood political donor. Dark conspiracy theories abounded — but the truth is even darker. [The New York Times]

Several of our readers have showed us what it’s like to experience the devastation caused by wildfires. If you are in a safe place and able to do so, we would like to see how you have been affected by this year’s fires. Were you forced to evacuate? Did you lose your home? Please send your photos and stories to catoday@nytimes.com.

California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com. Were you forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, went to school at U.C. Berkeley and has reported all over the state, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles — but she always wants to see more. Follow along here or on Twitter, @jillcowan.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.


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