The 2021 wildfire season is devastating the western United States. A prolonged drought and extreme heat waves are causing wildfires to spread rapidly, which makes them difficult to contain. California is currently the hardest-hit state — the Dixie Fire, in Northern California, is already the second largest wildfire in the state’s history, having burned over 960,000 acres. Tens of thousands of people are under evacuation orders, and hundreds of buildings have been destroyed.
The fires are not limited to California; more than 100 wildfires are now burning throughout 15 states. Smoke from these fires is carried across the country, a sign of the far-reaching effects of worsening wildfires.
Lutheran Disaster Response is working with synods and social ministry organizations in California and other western states to develop a coordinated response to the wildfires. We anticipate that immediate needs will include food and other necessities. Long-term recovery will likely take years. Because emotional and spiritual care is a key aspect of disaster response, the Sierra Pacific Synod is developing a Lutheran Chaplaincy Corps, training rostered leaders and laypeople to offer such care to first responders and survivors after a disaster.
What you can do:
Please pray for the communities that lie in the paths of wildfires in the western United States. May God's healing presence give them peace and hope in their time of need. Pray that God will deliver comfort to those who mourn and strength to those working diligently to contain the fires and care for affected communities.
Your gifts will support wildfire survivors. Gifts to "U.S. Wildfires" will be used in full (100%) to assist those affected by wildfires until the response is complete. Or make a general donation to Lutheran Disaster Response so we can respond to disasters whenever and wherever they strike.
To learn more about the situation and the ELCA’s response: