Sonora, Ca — Approximately one million residents have been evacuated, and 1,300 structures have been destroyed as the result of the string of fires stretching from the Mexican border to north of Los Angeles.
The CAL Fire Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit says there is no new information to report in regards to local firefighters heading to southern California. According to public information officer Lisa Williams, 250 were sent, including 15 engines, 10 crews, one copter and 15 overhead.
Firefighters are not the only group that have been heading to the area. The Sonora area office of the California Highway Patrol has dispatched four officers. “There are a lot of evacuated areas that they are going to have to protect,” says Officer Tom Wills. “They don´t want people looting homes and conducting criminal activity.”
The Sacramento-Sierra chapter of the American Red Cross is on the front lines. “We sent two emergency response vehicles,” says PR and Marketing Manager Courtney Miller “One is a special emergency response communications vehicle that has satellite tracking and GPS. The other is our emergency response vehicle that will help us go through the relief area to make sure firefighters have food and water.”
Carol Mutzner of the Sonora Red Cross office says the best way to help the effort is to donate money. Checks with a “California Fires” memo can be mailed to P.O. Box 81, Sonora, Ca, 95370. The money will be used to help with things such as purchasing supplies for firefighters.
Also of note, in order to help family members reunite, the Red Cross has set up an emergency evacuee registration telephone line and website.
This service is in place for evacuees to register their status and for loved ones to search for evacuees. If you are looking for relatives that have been evacuated , either call 1-800-REDCROSS or go to www.disastersafe.redcross.org.
Written by BJ Hansen