Disaster Update: California Wildfires

Update from Phil Shea, SWC Disaster Coordinator

Northern California UCC sends greetings, where they are on day 8 of very smoky skies and are preparing for worship this Sunday – many of them with heavy hearts. The SWC is reaching out to Associate Conference Minister Davena Jones, who recently stepped into the role of Conference Disaster Coordinator for the Northern California Nevada Conference, to determine if there are any specific needs with which we can assist.

If you would like to financially support the UCC Disaster Ministries efforts in California, please direct your donations through the Conference Office, designated to California Wildfires or UCC Disaster Ministries. Or, directly to UCC Disaster Ministries at https://transactions.ucc.org/CampaignForm/UCChrist/emergency_usa .

I want to update you about what UCC Disaster Ministries is doing to respond to the California wildfires and how churches can help. UCC Disaster Ministries has just posted this webpage, http://www.ucc.org/california_ucc_response_2018_wildfires , and you can check it for updates and information. UCC Disaster Ministries continues to liaise with both our Northern California Nevada Conference and Southern California Nevada Conference to provide support, and remains committed to long-term recovery. In demonstration of that commitment, UCC Disaster Ministries just authorized a $3,000 solidarity grant to the Northern California Nevada Conference to join the First Congregational Church in Redding and the wider community in providing gift cards to families affected by the Carr Fires in the Redding area in July 2018.

Three major wildfires continue to rage in California. According to the California government site CalFire [14 NOV 18 data]:

* The Camp Fire, in Butte County, has burned 135,000 acres and is 35 percent contained. The confirmed death toll stands at 48, with dozens of people missing. Nearly 9,000 structures have been destroyed, 7,600 of them homes.

* The Woolsey Fire, in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, has burned 97,620 acres and is 47 percent contained. Two fatalities are confirmed. Some 435 structures have been destroyed and 57,000 structures are in danger.

* The Hill Fire, in Ventura County, has burned 4,531 acres and is 94 percent contained.

You can reach Phil at philofthedesert@yahoo.com or 602-663-5065.