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AUSTIN, TX -- Our thoughts are with those impacted by the California wine country fires, which are predicted to be the deadliest and most destructive in history. The fires have not been contained, and the situation is expected to worsen because of the dry conditions and high winds.
The 21 fires currently burning across the northern part of the state have torched more than 190,000 acres, an area nearly the size of New York City. Twenty-seven people were confirmed dead, more than 460 people are listed as missing, two hospitals were evacuated, and over 3500 homes and businesses were completely destroyed. Towns continue to be evacuated. Smoke has spread more than 200 miles, making breathing difficult and disrupting air traffic.
The affected communities need help in many ways. The greatest needs right now are for basic supplies, since many have lost everything. Donations have been requested for necessities like baby formula, diapers, soap, towels, blankets, water and food.
If you would like to help, suggestions include making a donation to United Way of the Wine Country or the American Red Cross, with your donation earmarked to the wine country wildfires. These organizations have been supplying needed staples to evacuated families in the shelters.
Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and support.
Joyce Knestrick, PhD, APRN, C-FNP, FAANP
Karen Ketner, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP
AANP Region 9 Director