CHICO, Calif. — The following is a statement from the CEO, Bonnie Worthington of RV Rental Connection, located in Chico, California, in the path of the currently raging camp fire.
“We know people around the country want to help the Camp Fire victims. Here is how you can help.
“We are asking that our RV community come together and help with any donation you can for the North Valley Community relief fund for Camp Fire victims. They are accepting donations for the Camp Fire victims now. A link to the Camp Fire Evacuation Relief fund is provided below.
“Many shelters do not want donations of food, clothing or blankets. They want funds as they don’t have room to store the items and don’t want panicked individuals to cause more confusion by fighting over items. This fire will be burning for days and the effects of this fire will be felt many years past today’s date, so any donation in the next few months will also help.
“Yesterday morning, as I left for the RV Rental Connection office, taking my son to school along the way, we saw the ominous pillar of smoke (which as we learned as the day progressed) signaled the beginning of the devastating Camp Fire, which has now wiped the entire neighboring town of Paradise, California, off of the map. This is a tragic event and so much help is needed.
“Throughout the day, the terror unfolded before our eyes. The sky completely blackened and we began hearing what the rest of the world was hearing, that the 5,000 acres first reported quickly turned to 70,000 + acres burning out of control under 30-50 mph gusts of wind, followed by messages of losses from nearby friends who live in Paradise.
“Citizens were fleeing for their lives through tunnels of fire that enveloped the roads out of Paradise that lead to Chico. Some roads still passable (albeit engulfed in flame) were changed to all lanes for outbound traffic only; as the fire blocked the escape route other roads might have offered.
“Our office phones began to ring off the hook with people looking for temporary housing. We prepared our staff by preparing a list of hotels still available and the locations of evacuation centers where people could get food and shelter. All the RVs on our website had been quickly booked early in the day and we ran out of RV options. We also helped direct people where they could place found or displaced small and large animals in shelters.
“Last night, when I returned from work, I opened my home to displaced employees and friends as evacuation warnings here in Chico became mandatory orders to evacuate. My home is north of the town of Chico, and I could offer asylum to those in the path of the fire to the south.
“I have attached some images I had taken with my phone at 5 p.m., 7:30 p.m. on 11/8 with the fire approaching Chico and again at 10 a.m. today 11/9 as the sun tried to shine through clouds, smoke and ash.
Any donations will help someone. Thank you in advance. This has been truly frightening. Here is the donation link:
SOURCE: RV Rental Connection press release