West Coast Churches Struggle to Provide Relief to Wildfire Victims Amid Coronavirus Lockdowns

A tree engulfed in flames is seen during the Creek Fire in Tollhouse, California, U.S. September 8, 2020. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

West Coast city skylines are orange and besotted with ash as fires set by arsonists continue to rampage across the land and churches respond to those who’ve been displaced.

Since the blazes began, approximately 2.3 million acres have been consumed, around 20 times what burned in 2019, according to California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Some residents of the San Francisco Bay area are likening the conditions to “a scene from Mars,” NBC News reported.

As a result of weeks of fires, “no sunrise was visible as a mix of fog and smoke … enveloped towns and cities in a haze that resembled perpetual predawn light,” NBC News added.

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In southern Oregon, which has also been affected by the fires, some churches are coordinating relief efforts.

Pastor Lee Gregory of Medford Neighborhood Church said in an interview with ABC News affiliate KDRV that his congregation is restarting a previous campaign called “I C.A.R.E” to assist displaced residents. Gregory drove near the Phoenix area on Wednesday morning and saw the destruction caused by the Almeda Drive Fire.

Gregory said he’s working with local churches and asked that they open their parking lots to people who’ve escaped the fires and are now living in RVs and trailers and need a place to stay.

“I just want you to know we’re going to have a lot of displaced families,” he said. “I pledge every penny will help those who are displaced by this fire.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter

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