The town of Paradise burned to the ground. The current death toll is 56, with 200 people still missing. Photos and videos of people evacuating in the firestorms are harrowing.

World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS) regional managers based in Northern California are monitoring the disaster and connecting with local and state response partners as officials and rescue teams continue to search for survivors.

The Camp Fire in the more northern part of the state is burning out of control this week, destroying 120,000 acres of land and forcing the evacuation of more than 52,000 people. Several thousand are in emergency shelters and more than 6,000 homes have been destroyed.

The Hill and Woolsey fires, located between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, though partially contained, have already burned 93,000 acres of land and destroyed nearly 60,000 homes. Reports state that more than 300,000 people statewide have left their homes. 170,000 have been evacuated overall.

A federal emergency declaration was enacted yesterday, helping residents with funding for clean-up and recovery. Damage to iconic coastal areas, such as Malibu, and multiple tragedies in Thousand Oaks received wide news coverage over the weekend.

World Renew responds to disasters in areas of poverty, prioritizing those who are elderly, who live with a disability, or who are under- or uninsured.

First responders have weeks of work ahead of them; please pray for their safety and endurance. Pray also for the thousands of people whose homes and lives are disrupted. In these early days, World Renew DRS is laying a foundation to help in subsequent recovery efforts through unmet needs assessments, home repairs, and more, after the fires are extinguished and communities begin to regroup after the initial damage.

To support World Renew DRS in responding to the needs of people affected by the wildfires, donate online.

Checks marked “California Wildfires” can be mailed to:

World Renew Canada
3475 Mainway
Burlington, ON L7R 3Y8
or call (800) 730-3490

World Renew US
1700 28th St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49508
or call (800) 552-7972

PHOTO TOP: A group of U.S. Forest Service firefighters monitor a back fire while battling to save homes at the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, U.S. November 8, 2018. REUTERS/Stephen Lam