Response Updates

Drought & Wildfires Continue: Convoy Responds in Western US

USA Reported by

September 15, 2021 | 10:40

“We have had a ton of fires that have been affecting our areas,” said Shawn Sanassarren of Bayside Church in California. Bayside is one of many Convoy of Hope partners distributing water, food, and relief supplies to those impacted by the wildfires in the West.

Flames from the Dixie Fire consume a home on Highway 89 south of Greenville on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, in Plumas County, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Fires across California and surrounding states have consumed more than 2 million acres in recent months, burning thousands of homes and other structures along the way. Recent droughts have exacerbated concerns by hampering the ability of communities to fight these fires — causing shortages of hydroelectric power, and limiting supplies of drinking water. 

Convoy of Hope strategically positioned water, as well as other relief supplies, in communities across the Western United States. To date, Convoy has distributed hundreds of thousands of pounds of necessities in response to this disaster.

Thank you for supporting Convoy of Hope as we provide help and hope to those in need during this time of crisis.

September 1, 2021 | 2:15 p.m.

As fires rage on in Western states, Convoy of Hope is providing relief supplies to affected areas.

“It’s a very difficult time for the people in the paths of these fires,” said Ethan Forhetz, Convoy’s National Spokesperson. “Convoy of Hope is grateful to be able to respond with help and hope when both are desperately needed. Thank you to Convoy’s generous donors who make our responses like this possible.”

More than 53,000 people are under evacuation orders as the Caldor Fire tears through the Lake Tahoe area and sets its sights on Carson City and Reno, Nevada. The Caldor Fire currently covers more than 204,000 acres and is only 18% contained.

“It’s so hard leaving. We raised eight kids here,” Joey Anders of South Lake Tahoe, California, told the Tahoe Daily Tribune. As he burst into tears, he added, “The hardest thing about leaving is knowing I can’t get back here.”

“The fire remained very active overnight due to the extremely poor humidity recovery and warm temperatures,” the California Fire Department said in a statement on Wednesday.

More than 15,000 firefighters are attempting to quell wildfires across California, including the Dixie Fire — the second largest in state history, which has burned more than 844,000 acres. An additional 85 fires burned approximately 2 million acres across 11 states this season, the National Interagency Fire Center reported.

Convoy of Hope is providing relief supplies to affected areas across the western United States. Thank you to those who support Convoy and allow us to provide help in this time of crisis as the blaze continues.

August 9, 2021 | 4 p.m.

As temperatures continue to rise and water levels decline in the Western United States, Convoy of Hope is hard at work, sending water to strategic locations in affected areas. Partners in these areas will store and distribute the water to those in need.

“The Western U.S. is experiencing record-breaking heat, numerous wildfires, and water reservoirs at all-time lows with no end in sight,” Stacy Lamb of Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team said. “Because of this, Convoy of Hope is working with its partners to strategically place numerous loads of water out west in order to be able to respond quickly when needs arise.”

Wildfires have sprung up across the West, adding to an already-growing list of concerns about the crisis. Over approximately four weeks, the Dixie Fire — now considered to be the second-largest wildfire in California’s history — has consumed more than 580 structures and 463,000 acres, according to local authorities.

Meanwhile, in Nevada, lawmakers recently passed a law that, in an effort to conserve water, will ban all grass in the Las Vegas area considered to be nonfunctional. The law is expected to affect nearly a third of the grass in the city, including street medians and landscaping in urban areas. 

As these crises continue, Convoy will provide help and hope to those affected. To contribute to Convoy of Hope as we support people in need, click here.

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September is #DisasterPreparedness month! Despite an already very active hurricane and wildfire season, it's always a good idea to be prepared. Should disaster strike, you can find tips on what you will need at http://convoy.org/preparednessmonth.