13 ways to help those affected by the California wildfires and the heroes fighting them

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Alexander Tobolsky returns to his burned-out home in Malibu, California. Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP
  • Multiple wildfires are raging across northern and southern California.
  • The fires are scorching chunks of land and displacing hundreds of thousands of people as authorities battle high winds and a trend of terrible weather conditions to contain the fires.
  • These are the organisations accepting donations for supplies, meals, and relief funds.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Multiple wildfires are raging across northern and southern California, scorching huge chunks of land and forcing more than 200,000 people to evacuate.

The Kincade Fire is currently the biggest in the state, as it has burned more than 66,000 acres since it broke out in Sonoma County on October 23 and destroyed at least 96 buildings.

The Getty and Tick fires have also scorched large portions of Southern California and forced thousands to evacuate.

The US Centre for International Disaster Information has declared sending money is the most effective way to help in a crisis, so we compiled a list of several reputable organisations accepting donations for supplies, meals, and relief funds, with the help of Charity Navigator.

Here’s how you can help.


General aid: California Community Foundation

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Firefighters battle the Kincade Fire along Chalk Hill Road in Healdsburg, California on October 27, 2019. PHILIP PACHECO/AFP via Getty Images

The foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund program takes donations for emergency short-term financial assistance and resources to both firefighters and civilians affected by fires and natural disasters in California year-round.

Donate here »


General aid: American Red Cross

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A firefighting helicopter flies over the Getty Fire as it burns in the hills west of the 405 freeway in the hills of West Los Angeles, California, October 28, 2019. REUTERS/Gene Blevins

The Red Cross is collecting donations to provide shelter, food, relief, and medical services to both civilians and emergency workers affected by the fires.

Donate here »


General relief: GlobalGiving

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A view of a home that was destroyed by the Kincade Fire on October 28, 2019 in Calistoga, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The crowdfunding platform has a fund set aside for damage from the Kincade fire that its site said will be split among immediate relief efforts like providing food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter, in addition to a portion sent to reliable local nonprofit partnerss for long-term relief efforts.

Donate here »


Emergency worker support: Direct Relief

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Firefighters stand watch by a fire line along Mayacama Club Drive as the Kincade Fire burns on the outskirts of Santa Rosa, Calif., on Oct. 28, 2019. Dai Sugano/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

The organisation is collecting donations to buy supplies like N-95 masks, medicine, and other resources to provide to healthcare agencies and first responders in the wildfire-affected areas.

Donate here »


Firefighter support: Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation

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A firefighter pulls a hose to spray water on a burning tree as he battles the Kincade Fire on October 27, 2019 in Windsor, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation supports the LAFD with private funding to help get equipment and supplies, training and outreach, and fund youth programs after the city stops being able to contribute.Donate here »


Recovery efforts: Community Foundation of Sonoma County

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A firefighter watches over a back fire along a hillside during firefighting operations to battle the Kincade Fire in Healdsburg, California on October 26, 2019. PHILIP PACHECO/AFP via Getty Images

The organisation’s Resilience Fund is a source oflong-term recovery efforts in Sonoma County.

Donate here »


Emergency worker support: Entertainment Industry Foundation

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Firefighters discuss how to approach the scene as a home burns near grape vines during the Kincade fire in Healdsburg, California on October 27, 2019. JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images

Funds from the nonprofit provide hydration backpacks, night vision goggles, and meals for firefighters and other emergency workers battling the fires.

Donate here »


Food distribution: World Central Kitchen

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A structure continues to burn after the Kincade Fire moved through the area on October 24, 2019 in Geyserville, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Those interested can volunteer with the organisation to serve meals at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds to fire evacuees.

Donate here »


Low-income support: United Way of the Wine Country

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A stone facade is all that remains standing at the Soda Rock Winery, which was destroyed by the Kincade fire. Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The organisation’s Kincade Fire Emergency Relief & Recovery Fund is accepting donations to support relief and recovery efforts.

Donate here »


Food distribution: Sonoma Family Meal

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Bernadette Laos sits with her dog Canela in her car in Geyserville, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, looking at a picture of the house she lost in the Kincade Fire. Karl Mondon/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

The organisation reunited after last year’s devastating fires to serve local meat and produce to Kincade fire evacuees. Donate here »


Relief fund for lost homes: United Way of Northern California

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A firefighter walks through a burned property after the Kincade fire tore through Healdsburg, California on October 27, 2019. JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images

The local chapter has established a relief fund for those who have lost their homes.

Donate here »


Resources for undocumented people: UndocuFund

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A view of a building that was destroyed by the Kincade Fire at Oak Ridge Angus on October 28, 2019 in Calistoga, California. Fuelled by high winds, the Kincade Fire has burned over 66,000 acres and has prompted nearly 200,000 evacuations in Sonoma County and beyond. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

UndocuFund for Fire Relief in Sonoma County is raising funds for undocumented people who have been affected by the Kincade Fire.

Donate here >>


Crowdfunding: GoFundMe

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A structure continues to burn after the Kincade Fire moved through the area on October 24, 2019 in Geyserville, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

GoFundMe has collected several relevant funds that support wildfire relief for families, towns, and organisations.

Donate here »