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Four Ways to Help Victims of California Wildfires; Roma Downey Urges Prayers

( [email protected] ) Dec 07, 2017 01:49 PM EST
Christian actress Roma Downey has issued a call to prayer as wildfirers continue to ravage Southern California, destroying hundreds of homes and forcing thousands of evacuations.
Flames from the Thomas fire burn above a truck on Highway 101 north of Ventura, Calif., on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. AP Photo

Christian actress Roma Downey has issued a call to prayer as wildfirers continue to ravage Southern California, destroying hundreds of homes and forcing thousands of evacuations.

"Waking up to another red thick smoky sky, it's terrible yet strangely beautiful and deeply unsettling and upsetting as more fires have sprung up all around overnight," The former "Touched by an Angel" Actress wrote on Instagram. "The winds are still strong. Dear God please keep our brave men and women of the fire department and emergency services safe as they battle these fires in the area. Bless all your people in these neighborhoods and protect them please their families, their homes and their pets. Lord please hear our prayers."

Roma Downey
(Photo : Instagram)
On Instagram, Roma Downey urged prayers for the victims of the wildfires.

She later posted another photo of the fires with the simple caption, "Pray for California."

The wildfires have forced more than 200,000 people to evacuate their homes, according to reports. Additionally, fire and and thick smoke forced the closing of the 101 freeway between Ventura and Santa Barbara and the shut down of hundreds of schools spanning at least 15 districts.

About 5,000 firefighters have been working nonstop to battle the blazes racing across hillsides and through neighborhoods, officials said. As of Thursday afternoon, officials had not reported any deaths due to the fires.

Together, four fires -- the Thomas, Creek, Rye and Skirball -- have consumed about 116,000 acres, according to the state fire summary.

As flames continue to race across Ventura and Los Angeles counties, authorities fear the sparking of new fires, according to the Washington Post.

"These will be winds where there will be no ability to fight fires," Chief Ken Pimlott of Cal Fire, the state firefighting agency, warned on Wednesday. "This will be about evacuations and getting people out from in front of any fires that start."

Chief Pimlott said forecasters were using a purple color on maps to indicate an "extreme" fire risk.

"We've never used purple before," said the chief.

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) declared states of emergency in Los Angeles and Ventura counties because of the fires. The National Weather Service, which warned of the risk of "very rapid fire growth," said winds could diminish Friday into Saturday.

In the meantime, Time has identified where to make fire donations to help victims in California.

Thomas Fire Fund

The United Way of Ventura County, American Red Cross of Ventura County and the Ventura County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services have teamed up to create the Thomas Fire Fund.

Donations can be made by texting UWVC to 41444, on United Way of Ventura County's website or over the phone at 805-485-6288.

Checks with "Thomas Fire Fund" in the memo line can be mailed to 702 County Square Drive, Suite 100, Ventura, CA 93003.

Red Cross 

The Red Cross is accepting applications for volunteers on its website.

Those who wish to make cash donations can do so on redcrossla.org or over the phone by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

YouCaring

YouCaring, an online crowd-funding platform, has created a landing page with all of its campaigns for Southern California wildfire relief.

Human Society of Ventura County

The Humane Society of Ventura County is in need of donations after taking in more than 300 animals since the fires began Monday.

Tags : California wildfire, fire, wildfires in California, Southern California, California wildfire update, Roma Downey