California Wildfires

"This is one of the worst disasters I've ever seen in my career, hands down," - FEMA  Administrator Brock Long

The 2018 wildfires in California were the deadliest and most destructive in the state's history. Vulnerable families lost their homes, their livelihoods, and their hopes for the future. In the immediate aftermath and in response to an urgent request by the Butte County School District, International Relief Teams provided funding for textbooks for students in Butte County who lost all of their school supplies in the fires. The Camp Fire alone destroyed 6 schools, damaged 8 schools, and affected nearly 4,000 students.

In 2019 and 2020, IRT sent 59 volunteers on 4 teams to Keswick in Shasta County California to rebuild 10 homes. In the tiny town of Keswick, all but two homes were destroyed by the Carr fire. Keswick is a low income area where the median income is only $19,500 a year. Many residents do not have sufficient funds to rebuild their homes.

In 2021, IRT began working in the town of Paradise, CA to rebuild homes for low income families and sent 41 volunteers on 5 teams to rebuild 7 homes. Paradise was nearly wiped off the map by the fire. Only 5% of buildings in the town remained without serious damage. In 2022, we are continuing to send volunteer teams to rebuild homes for as long as we are needed.

See upcoming open volunteer opportunities for 2023 here.

Watch a news story about our recent team's trip to Paradise, CA here.

Read Patty's story here.

Donate here.

*Photo Credits: Noah Berger/AP (above), Jessica Christian/The Chronicle (thumbnail image on previous page)

Population below poverty line:
Total Expenditure on health per capita:
Under five mortality rate:
Physicians Density:
Life Expectancy:
School Life Expectancy:
Literacy Rate:
GDP per capita:
Children Under the age of 5 years underweight:
Unemployment rate:
39.54 Million
% without health insurance:
% of persons living in poverty:
% of high school graduates:
Median household income:

other projects related to

Disaster Response

Related blog posts