How to Help Fire Victims in Northern California

October 12, 2017, 6:37 PM UTC

Fire continues to incinerate Northern California, with the ones in Mendocino, Napa, and Sonoma counties being the most deadly and damaging. The Tubbs Fire, for example, has burned through more than 27,000 acres between Calistoga and Santa Rosa. Wineries and vineyards—the cornerstone of the economy there—have been completely wiped out in some cases. Now, windy conditions threaten to spread the flames into new territories, which could force more evacuations and structural loss.

Here’s how to help victims of the nearly two dozens fires, many of whom have had their homes and communities destroyed.

Open Your Home or Land

Airbnb has started an Open Homes program to provide free shelter for displaced residents and relief workers who have been deployed to help. Airbnb is asking hosts living near the affected area to open up their homes for free through October 30. The program has been expanded so residents of San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland can now sign up to host evacuees.

Hipcamp also has a list of areas where evacuees can camp. If you want to host families on your land, email

People who have been displaced in Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino can use the code HIPCAMPLOVESNORCAL to stay at select Hipcamps for free.

A Google docs page has also been created to help connect evacuees with people opening up their homes separate of a formal program.

Donate Supplies

Officials have asked for donations of items like water, blankets, baby food, and pet food to be sent to evacuation centers. You can also go to Facebook’s crisis response page to find out what other items are needed.

A few commonly overlooked items continue to be:

  • Packaged underwear
  • Shoes
  • Phone chargers
  • Feminine products

The Redwood Empire Food Bank is supplying food for the more than two dozen evacuation centers in Sonoma County. One organizer told Fortune it is in dire need of ready-to-eat, non-perishable foods that are easy to open and in non-glass containers. Donations are being accepted at 3990 Brickway Blvd. in Santa Rosa.

Examples of acceptable products include:

  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Beefy jerky
  • Granola bars
For those who don’t live in the area, financial donations, that will be used to buy food, can be made on the organization’s website.
To check for updates on other places seeking donations, visit the City of Sonoma’s Facebook page, which is updated regularly.
Some of these locations include:

Air Respirators

Air quality in areas as far away as San Francisco and San Mateo County—more than 80 miles from the heart of the fires—is reaching historically poor levels. For this reason, air respirators are one of the most needed items.

Napa had the poorest air quality in the country Thursday morning, according to the EPA. High levels of particulate matter and ozone in the atmosphere pushed Napa’s air quality to 167 on the EPA’s index gauge. Good air quality registers as zero to 50.


One of the best ways to help from afar is by giving cash.

These sites are accepting donations:


Many centers have enough supplies for now and are looking for volunteers.

Pets Need Help, Too

You can donate to local animal shelters, which are housing pets for people who were evacuated. Many shelters have a no-pets policy, which forces pet owners to find other options. Here are local shelters that need donations: