SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER: Samaritan’s Purse Responding to Deadly Fires in Northern California

November 26, 2018 • United States

Disaster relief staff and Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains are on the ground in California ready to help homeowners in Jesus’ Name.

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Samaritan’s Purse has staff on the ground in Northern California’s Butte County, with one of our disaster relief units—a tractor trailer packed with tools and equipment—standing by. We will help homeowners sift for valuables and remove debris just as soon as local authorities allow us entrance. Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains have also been deployed to the area and are ministering to the displaced. The Camp Fire is now 100 percent contained. [Read a more recent story on our California fire response here]

A group of U.S. Forest Service firefighters monitor a back fire while battling to save homes at the Camp Fire in Paradise, California.

A group of U.S. Forest Service firefighters monitor a back fire while battling to save homes at the Camp Fire in Paradise, California.

This was the most deadly and destructive wildfire in modern California history. Over 150,000 acres were scorched by the blaze, more than 14,000 residences were destroyed, and more than 80 deaths have been confirmed. A list of the missing still includes hundreds of names, with those totals in constant flux. (The numbers have gone down to 200-some in recent days.)

We have already written work orders for hundreds of homeowners, prayed for many, and our teams await access to begin serving in many fire-devastated areas. Volunteers will assist with debris removal and sifting for valuables.

“My heart breaks for families who have lost homes and loved ones in the California wildfires,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “We want to come alongside them in the midst of this tragedy and remind them that God still loves them. Please pray for the first responders and all of the families who have been impacted.”

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This area of California got significant rain in the past week, ending the fire threat for the near future.

We’ve responded to California wildfires in the past, most recently to the Carr Fire this summer that burned more than 229,000 acres and 1,100 homes near Redding, California.

Also, Franklin Graham was in Chico in June for his Decision America California Tour. More than 5,000 people attended the prayer event.

Once the fires are contained, we will quickly begin assessing needs and receiving volunteers to assist homeowners in sifting through the ashes and recover precious belongings.

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Please continue to pray for so many hurting people, including the families of those who have died in this disaster. Also pray for first responders and firefighters, as well as for our teams as we seek to help in Jesus’ Name.

Volunteers sift through the ashes where the Gonzalez home once stood.

This summer, volunteers sifted through the ashes of homes near Redding, California, where the Carr Fire devastated whole communities—some in a matter of hours. Redding is only 70 miles north of Chico.

Originally published on Nov. 14, this article was last updated on Nov. 26.

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U.S. Disaster Relief Samaritan's Purse mobilizes and equips thousands of volunteers to provide emergency aid to U.S. victims of wildfires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. In the aftermath of major storms, we often stay behind to rebuild houses for people with nowhere else to turn for help.

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