The devastating Camp Fire in Butte County and the Woolsey Fire in Ventura County are forcing thousands to flee from their homes and communities.
“These destructive fires are turning lives upside down. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and communities living this nightmare. The fires have claimed lives, destroyed homes, schools and hospitals. I know many educators, students, families and friends are threatened and are being evacuated or have already fled their homes. Right now, our number one job is to make sure everyone is safe,” said California Teachers Association President Eric C. Heins while he and his family packed up belongings and were being evacuated from their Southern California home.
In Northern California, the Camp Fire has nearly destroyed the town of Paradise. Educators who have suffered losses should apply for CTA’s Disaster Relief Fund, which provides assistance to those whose homes or schools have been damaged by natural disasters. In the last three months, the fund has paid out more than $187,000 to support educators, their families and students. See cta.org/disasterrelief.
The CTA Chico Regional Resource Center at 1430 East Avenue #1 in Chico will be open all day Tuesday to aid area educators in filling out Disaster Relief Grant forms. CTA leaders and staff are also stepping up to raise funds for victims. Donations for Paradise area teachers can be made through a special GoFundMe account.
Educators who survived the Carr Fire recommend donation of cash or practical gift cards for groceries or essentials.
CTA leaders in Butte County are working with district and community partners providing various types of assistance, from confirming the safety and whereabouts of families to helping to find places to stay for those who lost their homes.
“In these devastating times, I am proud and gratified to see the outpouring of support from the entire community,” Heins said. “We’re also grateful to our union brothers and sisters, the firefighters and first responders, who are battling these blazes and providing medical care. Although this is frightening, I know we will land on our feet because we have each other, and because of our collective strength and good will.”