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Here’s how to help people affected by fires in Southern California

A small contribution can go a long way

Burnt car
Fires in LA County have claimed dozens of structures so far.
Photo by David McNew | Getty Images

Editor's Note: This post was originally published December 7 and has been updated with the most recent information.

The Creek, Rye, and Skirball fires have damaged or destroyed dozens of structures and spurred hundreds of thousands evacuations across Los Angeles County. In Ventura County, the Thomas Fire has been even more devastating, claiming at least 400 structures and forcing nearly 100,000 people to evacuate.

Wondering how you can help those affected by the fires? Here are a few good ways.

Donate money

This is certainly one of the easiest ways to help if you have some cash on hand.

United Way chapters in both Los Angeles and Ventura counties have established fire relief funds for communities hit by the blazes. Donations can be made online at the links above.

The Red Cross, which is operating multiple evacuation centers in LA County, is accepting donations through its website or by text. To make a contribution, text REDCROSS to 90999.

The Salvation Army, now providing food and supplies to evacuees in Ventura County, is also requesting donations, which can be made online or by phone (1 800 SAL ARMY).

If you’d like to have a better idea of exactly where your contribution is going, both GoFundMe and YouCaring have grouped their crowdfunding campaigns related to the fires.

Catholic Charities of Los Angeles is accepting monetary donations as well as clothing or Christmas presents for those who have lost belongings in the fire.

Donate time

The Red Cross accepts volunteer applications on its website year-round, and it’s a great way to get involved in your community during times of need.

Looking to get involved right away? Head up to Ventura County, where the United Way, Red Cross, Sheriff's Department are teaming up to place individual volunteers in places where their efforts will have the most impact.

Once the fire is contained, volunteer opportunities will be posted to the United Way of Ventura County’s website and social media accounts.

Donate supplies

Many of the evacuation centers and animal shelters housing people and pets displaced by the fires are accepting donations of food, water, and other supplies. A list of evacuation centers and animal shelters for the Creek Fire can be found here (and here for the smaller Skirball Fire).

Make sure to call ahead and check what might be needed.