PORTLAND, Ore., December 6, 2017 -- Disaster responders from the American Red Cross in Oregon and Southwest Washington (Cascades Region) are on their way to help people affected by fast-moving wildfires threatening communities and forcing people from their homes in Southern California.
Responders from Salem, Mosier, Medford, Springfield, Beaverton, Astoria, Gold Beach, Oregon City, and Keizer, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington will be working in disaster relief shelters and delivering health assistance to people staying in wildfire relief shelters. Additional disaster responder deployments are expected in the coming days.
NewsWatch 12 spoke with Oregonian Storm Olund who arrived in Camarillo, California Wednesday.
"One of the kind of overwhelming things is just like the smell, it smells like a barbecue out here. It reminds me a lot of how Portland was this past Summer during all the wildfires that we had, it's a lot like that, but I feel like it's probably about two or three times that scale," Olund said.
Olund said it is challenging to see so many people in need of help.
"It's not fun for anybody, but what I'm seeing here is a lot of really kind-hearted, really cool people coming together and lifting up people who need help right now," Olund said.
ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA FIRES
More than 430 people spent the night in seven Red Cross shelters last night. Nearly 200,000 people have been told to evacuate their homes in the areas around Ventura and Los Angeles. The Thomas Fire has burned at least 65,000 acres in Ventura County. The Creek Fire has burned approximately 11,000 acres in and near northern Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. The Rye Fire near Santa Clarita in Los Angeles County has grown to about 7,000 acres. Dangerous fire conditions are expected to be a threat for Southern California for much of this week, with officials calling this the strongest and longest duration Santa Ana wind event seen this wildfire season.
HOW TO HELP:
Help people affected by visiting redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS to make a donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/Cascades or find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/RedCrossCascades, Twitter at @RedCrossCasc and find us on Instagram at @RedCrossCascades.