Resources for assisting CA wildfire victims
Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones, their homes or their neighborhoods to the wildfires sweeping through California. The toll is staggering and should serve as a clarion call rallying all Californians to the side of their brothers and sisters in need.
The California School Boards Association is committed to helping victims and communities that have suffered from the fires’ wrath, particularly the state’s public school students and those who support them. The devastating effect of the infernos grows each day and we encourage all CSBA members to offer assistance where possible.
As of Wednesday morning, the 135,000-acre Camp Fire in Butte County had claimed the lives of 48 people, making it the deadliest wildfire in California history. More than 200 people remain missing as the blaze continues its destructive march at 35 percent containment. The Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties had left at least two dead and 483 structures ruined. It covered roughly 97,620 acres and was 47 percent contained as of Wednesday morning. The Hill Fire in Ventura County had burned 4,531 acres and was 94 percent contained on Wednesday.
All Butte County schools are closed until at least Nov. 23 due to the ongoing emergency and many districts and schools in Ventura County are also closed through the Thanksgiving break (for a complete list, check here: https://www.vcoe.org/). However, the impact is not limited to these areas. The wildfires have affected hundreds of schools statewide, so we’ve included resources below you can use to assist wildfire victims.
Ways to help those in need
CSBA encourages its community to support its members in this time of crisis. The following is a list of official resources from county websites in the affected areas:
- Camp Fire: View a current needs list through the Oroville Hope Center: Drop-off center is at Oroville Municipal Auditorium, 1200 Myers Street, Oroville, CA 95965.
- Woosley Fire: The official county site includes information on shelters, donations and health alerts. Many of the shelters are at area schools.
Resources for local educational agencies impacted by fires
- The California Department of Education Emergency Services unit is devoted to crisis response and recovery. They are eager to receive any and all information related to impacts on schools such as damage, access issues and more. Please provide reports and updates to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- California Department of Education funding waivers and recovery: The CDE posted a notice reminding impacted local educational agencies to apply for a waiver to prevent them from losing Local Control Funding Formula funding based on attendance and state instructional time penalties. The approval of school closures and decreases in attendance may be requested by submitting a Form J-13A. More information about state recovery resources is available from the CDE’s School Disaster Recovery web page, and at this CalOES web page Impacted school or local education agencies can contact EmergencyServices@cde.ca.gov to connect with the CDE team.
- Air quality monitoring: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNow California website provides a list of cities, their current conditions and forecasts to monitor for recess, physical education classes and other outdoor activities at school. Several school districts have shut down due to the smoky air.
- Fire response and recovery: The California Environmental Protection Agency provides a library on air quality, debris and ash removal, and water quality monitoring.