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SPECIAL ALERT: California Wildfires - News, resources, and how you can help

Wildfires have devastated various parts of California in recent days, and artists and arts communities are among those affected.

SPECIAL ALERT: California Wildfires

News, resources, and how you can help

Wildfires have devastated various parts of California in recent days, and artists and arts communities are among those affected. The Arts Council staff has some information that may be useful to those impacted, as well as others who would like to help and need guidance as to how.


Areas Immediately Impacted by Wildfires

The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) says that there are four fires impacting Californians this week. The Valley Fire (principally impacting Lake County, but also in Napa and Sonoma counties) and the Butte Fire (in Amador and Calaveras counties) are the most devastating, impacting tens of thousands. The other two are the Lumpkin Fire (in Butte County) and the Rough Fire (Fresno County).
If you are in any of the counties mentioned above and need guidance for general recovery services, please see the following sites:
OES staff said that the Lake County local assistance website was the first one up, but that other county local assistance sites are expected to follow. Calaveras County has posted a flyer online at http://butte.calaverasgov.us/Portals/Butte/Docs/CLAC%20Flyer.pdfwith information about the center to open on Friday, 9/18. Watch more updates at http://calaverasgov.us/ for this county. 
Keep an eye on the “Cal Volunteers/Fire” website above for updates, or on Twitter follow #ButteFire and #ValleyFire.

Think you want to go help on the fire-line? DON’T!

A Message from OES:

Volunteers should not self-deploy. Because of the dangerous conditions in the areas impacted by the fire, volunteers are asked not to go directly to the affected areas. You may be risking your life as well as the lives of others or hindering the work of emergency service responders.

There are ways to receive training to assist in future disasters, especially through professional disaster-relief organizations like the Red Cross. See www.CalVoluteer.org for more info.

Recovery Assistance

Here are two financial resources available specifically for artists: 

  • The Craft Emergency Relief Fund’s emergency relief assistance includes grants, no-interest loans, access to resources, waivers and discounts on booth fees, and donations of craft supplies and equipment. Click here to learn more.
  • The Joan Mitchell Foundation’s Emergency Grant Program is available for painters and sculptors who have suffered physical losses due to a natural disaster that relate to their artistic practice. Click here to learn more.

Want to donate?

There are ways to help those impacted through donations and assistance. TheCalVolunteers/Fire website has instructions on how to donate to relief agencies like the Red Cross, Salvation Army and others providing direct services to those in need, including in-kind donations. They also give instructions on how to slate your donation directly to those impacted by the fires.

Local arts agencies can also accept resources for long-term recovery efforts for artists in their communities. Information on the Lake County Arts Council, serving the heavily-impacted Lake County, can be viewed atwww.lakecountyartscouncil.com, or contact staff directly at lcac325@att.net or (707) 263-6658. 

To assist other counties impacted through local arts agencies, see their websites.


Photo courtesy of abc7news.com