Smoke coming from mountains

2019 California wildfires

Updated October 31, 2019

The 2019 California wildfire season is picking up in intensity, and fire-weary residents in the state are on edge.  The last two years brought some of the worst wildfires in the state’s history, resulting in more than 100 deaths as well as destruction of thousands of homes and buildings.  Officials have noted that wildfire season lasts longer each year, and recovery is more difficult as one intense fire season moves into another. 

As of October 2019, nearly 6,000 fires have flared in the state, with two of the most disruptive fires this season currently burning in Northern and Southern California. Given the ongoing devastation, many people are wondering: what can I do to help?  

How to help

Immediate fire recovery needs include shelter, food, evacuation support, family reconnection, health care and case management.  After the fire has been contained, residents need long-term support for rehousing, income recovery, agricultural needs and additional support to vulnerable populations. Due to the continuing threat of fire, mental health support and counseling services are also a significant need.

Fidelity Charitable has collaborated with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy to provide the following list of organizations offering relief services for the California wildfires. These organizations are highlighted because they have existing operations or chapters in the region, the ability to incorporate a large influx of donations, and a strong, established record of excellence in disaster relief services.

Please note the organizations listed in this guidance do not represent the full list of organizations raising money for relief efforts for the California wildfires. Fidelity Charitable has collaborated with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy to provide these organizations to donors for reference purposes only, and Fidelity Charitable does not endorse these organizations. All grant recommendations are subject to review and approval by the Fidelity Charitable Trustees. Fidelity Charitable will communicate all grant designation recommendations for the California wildfire relief to grantees.

Related resources

Southern California Grantmakers

SCG provides resources for the Tick fire, impacting Los Angeles County, and other wildfires in Southern California.

CDP brief:  California wildfires

An overview with the latest on the wildfires, with additional resources and ideas for donors who want to help.