Flames Finally Clear; Samaritan’s Purse Helping California Wildfire Victims (Press Release)

Teams of Volunteers Recover Precious Belongings, Providing Closure After Camp Fire

CHICO, Calif., Dec. 10, 2018—As the Camp Fire raged last month, North Carolina-based Samaritan’s Purse deployed staff and a tractor-trailer stocked with tools relief supplies to Chico, and immediately began coordinating with local officials, meeting with families who needed assistance, and comforting survivors.

Now that the flames have subsided and with more than 1,800 families requesting the relief organization’s help, teams of Samaritan’s Purse volunteers from around the nation are helping homeowners recover anything that may have survived the fire.

"Our hearts break for the thousands of families who have returned home to find nothing left," said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse. "It is hard to imagine what they are facing, but I want them to know that God loves them. That’s why we are coming alongside hurting families— to remind them that they are not alone and help them start to pick up the pieces. Please continue to pray for everyone affected."

Samaritan’s Purse is mobilizing volunteers to assist families in searching for personal contents—an important step in the recovery process. Teams of volunteers are helping recover personal items from the ashes, looking for jewelry, coins and other keepsakes that may have survived the flames. Even the smallest item can be invaluable to a hurting homeowner.

"The Camp Fire completely destroyed Paradise, California. It is unlike anything I have ever seen. Families have lost everything—many are sleeping in parking lots and tents because they don’t know where to turn," said Luther Harrison, vice president of North American Ministries for Samaritan’s Purse. “We are here to be the hands and feet of Jesus—helping families start to recover.”


  • Chandler Saylors, assistant program manager of U.S. Disaster Relief for Samaritan’s Purse, on the ground in California
  • Tim Haas, manager of U.S. Disaster Relief for Samaritan’s Purse
  • Luther Harrison, vice president of North American Ministries for Samaritan's Purse


Alyssa Benson, 828-266-5029

The North Carolina-based organization is working alongside Rapid Response Team chaplains with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to provide spiritual and emotional care to California families.

For more information about how to volunteer with Samaritan's Purse, go to spvolunteer.org.


Samaritan's Purse is an international Christian relief organization that has helped more than 42,000 families in 37 U.S. states following hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires and ice storms. Recently, Samaritan’s Purse responded to the Carr Fire in California and Hurricane Florence in North Carolina and South Carolina. The organization is also currently deployed in Florida and Georgia in response to Hurricane Michael.