September 06, 2022 | by Steve Elliott
The McKinney Fire started on July 28th and remained active for 26 days. Over 60,000 acres throughout Siskiyou County, in far Northern California, burned with the destruction of 185 structures, 87 homes, and the loss of four lives.
Along with State and County agencies, and a variety of non-profit organizations, the California-Nevada Conference Disaster Response Ministry participated in the McKinney Fire’s Local Assistance Center in Yreka. Three Early Response Team members from Lynnewood United Methodist (Pleasanton) were assisted by two members of Yreka United Methodist. It is extremely helpful to have the local folks offering their knowledge of the people, the areas affected by the fire, and their continued support with follow-up calls to the people we served.
All who visited our table shared challenging situations and significant interruption to life as they had known it! Some were embarrassed to be seeking assistance. Others were devastated by the loss of their homes, photographs, animals, and tools for their employment. We offered a compassionate ear to stories of those whose homes were severely damaged or destroyed. We heard of the escape and fear of folks who were evacuated. Interviews of over 90 people resulted in the distribution of fire buckets, tools, sifters, cleaning buckets, wildfire cleaning kits, hygiene kits, PPE kits, school kits, tote bags, and gift cards.
We, along with those survivors we served, express grateful appreciation to congregations across the Conference for their generous donations and offerings of hope!