The Humboldt Area Foundation + Wild Rivers Community Foundation (HAF+WRCF) has activated its Community Response Team (CRT) to support multiple response efforts as wildfires burn through the foundation’s four-county service region of Del Norte, Humboldt, and Trinity counties in California and Curry County in Southern Oregon.
“We are monitoring all the fire activity in the region including the Smith River Complex fire that is threatening the safety and well-being of the residents of Del Norte County,” said Craig Woods, HAF+WRCF’s Department Director for Programs and Community Solutions. “It’s incredible to see the response and generosity of individual residents, first responders, businesses, tribes, local government, nonprofits and many others”.
Members of the foundation’s CRT check in daily with community partners, organizations, agencies and Tribal entities across all four counties to assess critical needs and determine what resources are needed and where. The team works diligently to connect community with existing resources while also deploying its own resources to support efforts and address gaps for the most vulnerable. This week, HAF+WRCF has approved grants to address food insecurity, hygiene needs, and essential equipment and supplies.
The largest of dozens of fires, the Smith River Complex Fire has charred more than 47,000 acres and is at zero containment as of Thursday. Residents of Gasquet and Hiouchi and surrounding areas are under various levels of evacuation notices, while much of Del Norte County has been without power for most of the week.
Funding for response and recovery is provided through HAF+WRCF’s Disaster Response and Resilience Fund (DRRF), which was established in 2021 as a response to the 2020-21 fire season. Funded by contributions of individual donors and philanthropic partners, the DRRF has supported groups that provide community support for those most vulnerable in response to fires, storm events, earthquakes and other natural and human-made disasters.
HAF+WRCF is accepting requests for support from non-profit organizations, public benefit organizations (including churches, educational organizations/schools, hospitals, government units, and tribal governments), groups working with a qualified fiscal sponsor, and other groups working on charitable projects. Requests can be made at hafoundation.org/apply or by contacting the foundation at 707-442-2993 to be connected to an HAF+WRCF Program Officer.
“We know many residents remain without water, electricity and face adverse air-quality conditions, so our top priority is supporting groups that are keeping our friends and neighbors safe,” said HAF+WRCF’s Chief of Staff Sara Dronkers. “Donations to the fund are deployed through responsive grantmaking in close collaboration with organizations that are deeply embedded in and know the needs of their communities.”
To contribute to the Disaster Response & Resilience Fund visit hafoundation.org/disasterfund. Learn more about donating by contacting HAF+WRCF’s Donor Services team at firstname.lastname@example.org.