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Regional Interests

Caldor Fire: How to Support Tahoe Wildfire Survivors

As the fast-moving Caldor Fire continues to destroy homes and buildings, force evacuations and cause devastation in the Sierra Nevada, you might be wondering: how can I practically help those impacted the most?

For a lot of people in the Bay Area, the impact on the beloved Lake Tahoe region is particularly wrenching to watch from afar, whether they have strong family or community ties to the area or a deep appreciation for its incredible natural beauty as a visitor.

Read on for a list of organizations that are asking for support. We’ll be continuing to update this list.

And remember, one of the ways you can truly support people around Lake Tahoe is to stay away from Lake Tahoe and the surrounding areas right now. As early as Aug. 26, the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority was “recommending visitors postpone any immediate travel plans to the area.” And now, all national forests in California will now be closed because of fire risk starting Tuesday at midnight and lasting through at least Sept. 17.

Keeping away from Tahoe right now will leave roads clearer for evacuation routes, and hotel rooms available to fire evacuees who need them.

El Dorado Community Foundation

The El Dorado Community Foundation mounted a Caldor Fire Fund within days of the fire breaking out, and is continuing to redistribute funds to those displaced by the wildfire. Funds are given to those who need them in the form of a Visa prepaid card.

Donate to to the El Dorado Community Foundation online

El Dorado residents under mandatory evacuation order in the Tahoe area — which includes the area from Kyburz through South Lake Tahoe to the Nevada border — can apply to receive relief from the funds raised. The Foundation also has tutorials available online that walk would-be applicants through the process. For a full list of eligibility requirements, visit the Foundation’s website.

Apply for the El Dorado Community Foundation’s Caldor Fire Fund

California Fire Foundation

The California Fire Foundation is a non-profit providing “emotional and financial assistance to families of fallen firefighters, firefighters and the communities they protect.” Their Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency (SAVE) program is designed to bring immediate financial relief to victims of fire, and equips frontline firefighters with SAVE gift cards worth $250 to provide to victims, for them to purchase necessities like clothing, food and medicines.

Donate to California Fire Foundation’s SAVE program online

Amador Community Foundation

The Amador Community Foundation is fundraising not only for Amador residents impacted by the Caldor Fire, but also for El Dorado residents who are evacuated into Amador. The Foundation says that donations can either be made to their large animal rescue fund or their disaster relief fund.

Donate to the Amador Community Foundation online Donate by phone: (209) 223-2148.

Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless

Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless has been partnering with South Lake Tahoe Police Department to support evacuations of the city’s unhoused community.

Donate to Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless online

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is helping to provide meals to the Caldor Fire shelters, as well as “emotional spiritual care support to fire evacuees.”

Donate to the Salvation Army’s disaster relief fund

Hands 4 Hope

Hands 4 Hope, a youth-driven non-profit, is working with the El Dorado Community Foundation to connect Caldor Fire evacuees with services they need at this time. While they ask people wanting to donate money to make those donations via the El Dorado Community Foundation, Hands 4 Hope is also requesting specific in-kind donations like batteries, laundry supplies, sleeping bags and bug spray for evacuees.

See the list of desired donation goods from Hands 4 Hope

The Red Cross

The Red Cross is staffing evacuation shelters and providing support to fire evacuees during the Caldor Fire.

Donate to the Red Cross Gold Country Region You can also call 1-800-HELP NOW, or 1-800-435-7669. If donating online, select “Disaster Relief” or “Your Local Red Cross” from the “I want to support” drop-down list. If you choose to mail a check, the Red Cross recommends that you write “Western Wildfires” in the memo line of the check.

Help Sierra Breathe

Help Sierra Breathe is a coalition of mutual aid organizations — including Mask Oakland here in the Bay Area — working to bring N95 masks to people in the Sierra impacted by the dangerous smoke from  the Caldor Fire.

Donate to Help Sierra Breathe online

KQED will continue to update this list as more information becomes available.

Copyright 2021 KQED