North Coast Opportunities (NCO) and MendoLake Credit Union have re-opened the Lake County Wildfire Relief Fund in response to the Clayton Fire, which has destroyed at least 175 structures in Lake County.
The application for those impacted by the Clayton Fire to apply for funds is now available in English and Spanish, and can be found at https://www.ncoinc.org/clayton-fire/.
Applications are due no later than four weeks after the official CalFire containment date. Applications must be fully completed, front and back, to be considered. If an application cannot be fully completed, an explanation of why certain information is missing must be given.
Applicants are asked to be aware that the fund can only distribute as much as is raised. Currently, donations total about $10,000. NCO, MLCU, and all other participating partners are doing everything they can to spread the word about how to donate. Many outlets including the print media, radio, TV news, CalFire, and the Lake County Sherriff’s office are referring interested donors to this fund. “Our sincere hope is that enough money is raised to help everyone impacted,” said NCO Executive Assistant Elizabeth Archer, who is one of the primary administrators of the fund. “We understand everyone has need, but the reality is we may not be able to help everyone.” Priority is given to those with a high level of loss (i.e. loss of home or job) and/or little or no insurance coverage.
Applications will follow the same protocol established during the 2015 fire season. Last year’s committee comprised of fund partners and community members has been reactivated. They will review all applications starting next week, and will prioritize funding based on the level of need.
Monetary donations are being accepted at all MLCU and Savings Bank of Mendocino County branches. Additionally, checks can be mailed to NCO at 413 N. State Street, Ukiah CA 95482. Make checks out to NCO/Wildfire Relief, and write “Clayton Fire” in the memo. Donations are also being accepted via PayPal, which is linked to from NCO’s front page: www.ncoinc.org.
In addition to money, many people donate their time during a disaster as a volunteer. The NCO Volunteer Network will be opening a Volunteer Reception Center on Thursday, August 18 at the Church of the Nazarene, 15917 Olympic Drive in Clearlake. The center will serve as a central location for volunteers to register and review current volunteer needs. Staff will provide assistance in matching volunteers with needs that fall within their skill set and availability. If necessary, volunteer training will be provided.
The Clayton Fire has been declared a State disaster by Governor Jerry Brown; therefore, it is important that volunteers register and submit an account of their hours served. Interested volunteers are asked to report to the Volunteer Reception Center. Please do not self-deploy.
For further information, please call NCO’s Clayton Fire Volunteer Information Line at (707) 467-3236.
Official information blog for the Lake County Office of Emergency Services