At this point, portions of California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington are on fire—the latest additions to an already intense wildfire season (on top of an “extremely active” hurricane season). Smoke from these wildfires has traveled across the country, causing a haze on the East Coast that has since made its way to Europe. And let’s not forget, all of this is happening during a global pandemic, and unfortunately, cloth face masks do not protect you against wildfire smoke. This is all overwhelming, and can feel hopeless—but if you’re looking for ways to help those affected by the massive fires, here are a few suggestions.
American Red Cross
The Red Cross has a fund set up to help those impacted by the recent wildfires. To donate, visit their website, and select “California Wildfires” from the drop-down menu labeled “I want to support.”
Center for Disaster Philanthropy
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) is the only full-time national resource dedicated to helping donors maximize their impact by making more intentional disaster-related giving decisions. You can donate directly to their California Wildfires Recovery Fund, or to their North American Wildfire Fund (for Oregon, Washington and other parts of North America impacted by the fires).
California Fire Foundation
It’s important to keep the firefighters on the frontlines of these fires in mind, too. This organization provides emotional and financial assistance to families of fallen firefighters, firefighters and the communities they protect. You can donate here.
Latino Community Foundation NorCal Wildfire Relief Fund
This foundation directly funds local Latinx frontline community partners who are helping those affected by the recent wildfires. You can donate to their efforts here.
Community Foundation Santa Cruz County
This organization focuses specifically on helping those affected by the CZU August Lightning Complex Fires. They provide information on how/where to donate supplies, volunteer to work at a shelter and donate toward their work.
Off the Grid NorCal Fire Fund
This organization is seeking donations to provide meals for those impacted by the Bay Area fires. If you are a corporate partner or food truck business and wish to help, more information is available here.
California Community Foundation
This organization provides immediate, mid- and longterm recovery efforts for major California wildfires. You can donate here.
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
The Silicon Valley Community Foundation has established a fund that benefits individuals and families affected by the wildfires. You can donate to their efforts here.
This organization provides relief grants to park workers—including volunteers, seasonal employees and retirees—who have suffered loss due to the wildfires. You can donate here.
Whitman County Fire Community Relief Fund
A United Way-backed fundraiser for those impacted by the wildfires in Whitman County, Washington. You can donate here.
Wildland Firefighter Foundation
This organization provides financial support to families of firefighters who have lost their lives. Donate here.
Oregon Fire Relief
With so many places to donate, GoFundMe has put together a dedicated page linking to verified fundraisers for those impacted by the wildfires in Oregon. You can find that page here, and pick your cause.
Washington Fire Relief
This is the same deal—a collection of verified GoFundMe fundraisers to help those in Washington State. Here’s their page.
Charity Navigator’s Wildfire List
Another way to figure out where to donate is to visit this dedicated page on Charity Navigator’s website featuring highly rated organizations providing relief to those in the area. Charity Navigator assesses the work and impact of nonprofits (i.e. where’s the money going) and the organizations on their wildfire relief list—including GlobalGiving, Heart to Heart International, International Relief Teams and Americares—all have four stars, which is their highest rating.
This post was first published in August 2020 and updated in September 2020 to include more up-to-date information, organizations and resources.