In November, wildfires rapidly spread across California, forcing thousands of residents and animals to flee.
The Camp Fire near Sacramento scorched more than 153,000 acres over the course of several weeks. Firefighters battled strong winds, low humidity and dry vegetation, elements that caused the fires to spread so quickly. The fire is the deadliest in California's history after 88 died.
Residents had very little advanced warning to evacuate, and some had to leave their pets behind. Nearly a month later, thousands of animals and pets are still in need of shelter, food and medical treatment.
From afar, it’s difficult to know how you can help, but there are concrete steps you can take:
The North Valley Animal Disaster Group (NVADG) has taken in more than 1,300 animals in their shelters. The organization has teams of rescue workers behind the fire lines rescuing wild animals and pets and providing food and water. These teams then transport the animals to areas outside the evacuation road-blocks where other teams take the animals to veterinarians who are ready and eager to help. They are asking for monetary donations through their website or by mailing a check to NVADG, PO Box 441, Chico, CA 95927.
NVADG has partnered with several other organizations and established a website to help reunite lost pets with their owners. The site provides images of dogs, cats, exotic pets and farm animals that the shelter is currently housing. It asks that owners bring a photo ID of their pet or describe any unique markings to help them positively place the correct animal with their rightful owners.
There's also a Facebook group called Camp Fire Foster Animal Connection where people can offer to foster pets in their homes or victims can request assistance for their pets while they live in a temporary shelter or facility.
The Butte Humane Society is providing pet food and supplies to pets displaced by the fire. The organization is asking for a variety of food, beds, crates, toys, etc.
Help needed down south, too
Further south near Los Angeles, the Woolsey Fire in Malibu burned nearly 100,000 acres and displaced more than 265,000 people.
The County of Los Angeles Animal Care and Control has taken in more than 800 animals including 550 horses. They are also in need of monetary donations and bowls, crates and puppy pads.
Editor's note: This article has been updated since it was originally published in December 2017.