California’s 2020 wildfire season is already worse than 2019. According to Gov. Gavin Newsom, the state has battled more than 7,099 wildfires in 2020, compared to 4,292 in 2019. As of August 27, 2020, wildfires have scorched more than 1.6 million acres, making 2020 the second-largest wildfire season in California history. Longer drought periods, strong winds, intense thunderstorms, and warmer temperatures have contributed to the increasing size and impact of these fires.
Statewide, 367 fires are currently burning across California, with 24 of them considered major fires. Many of these wildfires, including the SCU, LNU, and CZU Lightning Complex Fires were sparked a barrage of lightning strikes in central and northern California last week. The SCU Complex Fire, east of San Jose, is 35% contained, and the LNU Complex Fire, which stretches from Napa to Yolo County, is 33% contained.
The Wildfires sparked by a barrage of lightning strikes in central and northern California continue to grow, with one group of fires – known as the LNU Lightning Complex in Napa and Sonoma counties – doubling in size since Wednesday and threatening 25,000 structures. A number of other large fires are also tearing through the state, including the Grizzly Creek Fire, River Fire, and Carmel Fire. More than 1,000 homes have already been destroyed, with another 80,000 threatened by the fires.
As 14,000 firefighters, disaster response, and other agencies battle multiple wildfires across California, CERF+ stands ready to respond to an increase in applications for emergency financial assistance and recovery-related resources. We’re reaching out to our network of artists and arts organizations to let them know that we’ll be here for them before, during, and after the fires.
Additionally, we’re inviting our community of supporters and friends to join us in the response effort by donating to CERF+.
In the past five years, CERF+ has provided 67 artists from California with more than $200,000 in emergency financial assistance and established a specific California Fund to help support these efforts.
If you would like to donate to the California Fund, follow this link to our secure online giving page and select, please use my gift to help California artists working in craft disciplines from the drop-down menu. It’s easy to do and only takes a minute. Your support will allow us to help artists build back stronger after the fires are extinguished, and the recovery begins.