The Blue and Gold

California Disasters

Jeremy Yang and Taylor Bell

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Santa Barbara Fire:

For months, the Thomas fire has been raging in Southern California, destroying hundreds of thousands of acres of land and causing $110 million in damage. 16,000 people evacuated homes and businesses, and 273,246 acres of land were destroyed in the fires. One firefighter was killed fighting the fire, and one civilian died trying to evacuate. 700 homes were destroyed and 600 other structures were also destroyed. Firefighters came from all over the country to help, and the fire was finally contained on January 12, 2018. The emotional and infrastructural damage to the community of Santa Barbara may never be fully repaired, but we can certainly help. To support the effort donate directly to the Red Cross website or text REDCROSS to 90999.

Santa Barbara Mudslide:

The recent heavy rainfall has brought many problems, from closing Highway 101 to mudslides in the Santa Barbara area. The mud swept through the Montecito area on the 9th of January, destroying approximately 30 square miles and 400 homes in its wake, including serious damage to the homes of celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, and Rob Lowe. Because the previous fires ravaged the terrain, the soil was no longer stable, and was quickly swept away by the heavy rains. (1 Inch in only 15 minutes) The lack of required evacuation claimed  the lives of 20, and 4 are still missing, but a warning was enough to save many others. Direct Relief and Red Cross are working with first responders to rescue and provide blankets and water as residents are rescued.

Santa Rosa Fire:

The Santa Rosa Fire, which is part of the Tubbs fire, was among the largest fires in Northern California. The fire followed a path starting in northern Santa Rosa, traveling north, and burning parts of Napa, Sonoma, and Lake counties. The fire caused $3.2 billion in damage, affecting 110,000 acres, leaving the area vulnerable to mudslides. The unexpected fire warning claimed 21 lives and 4,400 homes disappeared in the blaze. The fire was thought to be caused by a private electrical wire, letting out a spark that was carried by the dry windstorms. 15 lawsuits against PG&E for not addressing the issue. From people donating food, clothing, and time for the victims – to friends cooking for firefighters, the efforts of the community are bringing people together.  Remember, efforts to save victims of the fire are ongoing. You can bolster this cause and donate to Red Cross on the Red Cross website or by texting REDCROSS to 90999.

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