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Presbyterian Disaster Assistance responds to California wildfires


Past and present blazes are being addressed; donations helpful in response

by Rich Copley | Presbyterian News Service 

The Kincaid Fire, as photographed Monday by a NASA satellite. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

LOUISVILLE –Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is working with mid councils and churches in California to address wildfires currently raging as well as the long-term impact of recent fires.


“We have reached out to the Presbytery of the Redwoods to offer assistance,” a post on PDA’s Facebook page said addressing the Kincaid Fire, which has more than 200,000 people under evacuation orders in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco. “First Presbyterian Church of Santa RosaPresbyterian Church of the Roses and First Presbyterian Church of Petaluma have been taking in evacuees. We thank the presbytery and their churches for faithfully responding to the needs of their neighbors and lift up these communities in prayer.” 


Click here to contribute to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance efforts to combat wildfires.


PDA has also been in touch with the Presbytery of the Pacific about the Getty Fire, which is bordered to the north and south by the familiar roads Mulholland Drive and Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. That fire started early Monday morning near the Getty Museum. 


PDA anticipates multiple grant requests from the impacted presbyteries that will enable them to address the immediate unmet needs of survivors.  


A Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) team from the Environmental Protection Agency searches the remnants of a home destroyed by the Camp Fire outside of Paradise, Calif., last year. (Photo by Robert Barker)

California’s increasingly intense wildfire seasons have drawn PDA’s attention west in recent years. As it helps address current disasters, the ministry continues to assist with the aftereffects of previous fires such as the Woolsey fire, which impacted Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and the Camp fire, a Northern California blaze that is considered the largest wildfire in California history and the most expensive natural disaster of 2018 in the world.


Jim Kirk, PDA’s associate for disaster response in the U.S., recently met with the Los Angeles Region Long Term Recovery Group (LTDRG).  The LTDRG is responding to the needs of those impacted by the Woolsey Fire.

“The LTDRG is grateful for the grant from PDA which enabled the group to hire case managers to work with survivors who are recovering from the fire,” Kirk said.  He has been in discussion with Sacramento Presbytery to discuss the most effective way to use the denominational resources that have been allocated for the Camp fire. 

“I have been impressed with the engagement of the presbyteries in addressing the needs of the communities,” Kirk said. “In addition to Presbyterians responding through their congregations, there are many Presbyterians who have taken leadership positions on the community based long term recover groups.” 

Give to One Great Hour of Sharing to enable Presbyterian Disaster Assistance to respond quickly to catastrophic events.





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