By Digital Communications Manager, Ashley Henyan

Right now, as many as 17 deadly wildfires are burning across California, threatening lives, homes and businesses. Overnight, at least 2,200 people sought refuge from wildfires in 32 Red Cross and community shelters across the state. The Red Cross is also providing meals, health services, comfort and other support for affected residents.

The fires have already burned more than 110,000 acres and about 45,000 people are under mandatory evacuation orders, most having only a few minutes to flee their neighborhood. Currently, as many as 33,000 homes are threatened by the out-of-control fires.

Out of control wildfires are causing heavy smoke and poor air quality in many areas of California.


–              Pay attention to local air quality reports. Stay alert to smoke-related news coverage or health warnings.

–              If it looks smoky, it’s probably not a good time to exercise outdoors, conduct outdoor activities or for your children to play outside.

–              Keep your indoor air clean – close windows and doors to prevent the smoke outside from getting into your home.

–              Use the recycle mode on the air conditioner in your home or car. If you don’t have air conditioning and it’s too hot to be inside, seek shelter somewhere else.

–              If smoke levels are high, don’t use anything that burns and adds to air pollution inside such as candles, fireplaces and gas stoves.

–              Avoid vacuuming as this can stir up particles already inside your home.

–              If you have asthma or another lung disease, follow your health care provider’s advice. Seek medical care if your symptoms worsen.


Visit the Red Cross Safe and Well website at to reconnect with loved ones. The site allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. The site is open to the public and available in Spanish and English. Registrations can also be completed by texting SAFE to 78876 or you can use the “I’m Safe” feature of the Red Cross Emergency App to let loved ones know your status.

If you would like to help people affected by the California wildfires, visit, call 1-800 RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.


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