The latest is an update for the Erskine Fire as of June 29 at 9:30 a.m. The fire is 46,684 acres and is 60 percent contained. There are more than 1,700 firefighters fighting the fire. There are no evacuations in place and residents can return to their homes with ID for proof of residency. Kern County’s Office of Emergency Services’ transition center is open to support the needs of recently evacuated residents who are now returning to their homes.
United Methodists are responding as follows:
- There was an early response from First UMC, Bakersfield. Their trailer was transported to Lake Isabella - filled with clothing, personal hygiene items, blankets, and bottled water and delivered to Highland Chapel;
- Highland Chapel received the donations from First UMC with several members there to receive and unload the donations;
- Central Valley District Superintendent, the Rev. Debra Brady is coordinating with the pastors in the area;
- $4,000 was collected during the Annual Conference Session for this fire response; and
- The conference is in touch with the United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR) and they are standing ready to assist with the Conference response to the fire.
It is too early for volunteers other than first responders to be on site. Watch the United Methodist Disaster Response website
for information about forming teams to respond later on in the disaster response process.
For churches wishing to donate through the California-Nevada Conference for immediate relief for the fires, and immediate needs of future disasters, make checks payable to "California-Nevada Annual Conference," and write "CN Disaster Response" in the memo line. Churches can add their donation in with their tithing form and annotate in the area as "other designated giving." Mail checks to the Conference Center, P.O. Box 980250, West Sacramento, CA 95698-0250.