Churches & NGOs Activate to Aid Victims of Northern California Carr Fire

REDDING, CA – Witnesses to the devastation wrought by the Carr fire in Northern California have been describing the scene as apocalyptic. As of this morning, the fire is about 20 percent contained, but it has already consumed nearly 100,000 acres. Nearly 40,000 people have been evacuated. More than 500 buildings, including at least 300 homes, have been destroyed. Six people, including two firefighters, are known to have died in the blaze.

The Carr fire is one of three major fires currently raging in the state. The others are outside of Yosemite National Park and in the San Jacinto Mountains near Palm Springs.

More than 3,000 firefighters are combating the conflagration. About 100 law enforcement officers and more than 250 National Guard troops have been coordinating the evacuation of the area.

If any good news can be found in this tragic situation, it is in the way that multiple churches, businesses, and faith-based NGOs have already begun to respond to assist those who have been evacuated or have lost their homes and belongings.

Bethel Church, itself located in Redding, had hoped to become an evacuation center. However, as the church coordinated with the American Red Cross, they learned that their College View campus was too close to the fire and it would, itself, be endangered.

Meanwhile, the Bethel Global Response Team has partnered with the Salvation Army to establish a distribution hub for supplies for those in need. A spokesperson for the church said, “Our hearts are with families in our local community who have lost loved ones, lost homes, or have been displaced by the Carr Fire,” while noting that this is the first time the Disaster Response Team has been called upon to provide relief efforts when many of their own members were also victims of the catastrophe.

A fully-equipped 18-wheeler operated by Samaritan’s Purse and filled with equipment an supplies left North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, on Sunday, and headed for Redding.

Program managers from Samaritan’s Purse had already been on the ground conducting assessments and enlisting the cooperation of area churches and government agencies.

A local FoodMaxx store in Redding is helping to fund Salvation Army relief efforts by soliciting donations from shoppers and matching donations up to $2,500.

Faith Stay, a Christian version of Airbnb, has been asking its host partners in the Redding area to open their facilities at no charge to victims of the fire needing a place to stay.

Please pray for the firefighters, the victims of the blaze, and those who are bringing relief in Jesus’ name.


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