The Best Ways to Help the Victims of the California Wildfires

More than two million acres have burned already.

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(Image credit: JOSH EDELSON)

As Midwesterners try to recover from the derecho storm that devastated the region this summer, Californians are battling hundreds of fires across the state—many of which were caused by lightning strikes in August.

Moisture was helping to ward off additional dry lightning storms, but the persistent low humidity, high temperatures, strong winds, and a foolish gender reveal party ignited more fires and caused them to spread even further. According to Cal Fire, since August 15, more than two million acres have burned. Majority of the destruction occurred in the L.N.U. Lightning Complex and the S.C.U. Lightning Complex, which are now the second and third largest fires in California history. Already, at least seven people have died and thousands of homes have burned in the fires, which are raging through California, Washington, and Oregon. Dozens were injured, and more than 100,000 people had to evacuate. Currently, most of California is “under red-flag warnings" and countless people are seeking help as the sky in the Bay Area takes on an ominous orange hue.

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(Image credit: Kent Nishimura)

While you’re looking for reputable organizations to contribute to, the Cal Fire San Mateo-Santa Cruz unit encouraged well-meaning donors to beware of scams like the GoFundMe that’s pretending to be associated with California’s firefighters. (To help determine if a fundraiser is legit, check out these tips.) Here are a few sincere organizations you should consider donating to in order to support relief efforts:

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(Image credit: JOSH EDELSON)

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Shannon is a news writer at Cosmopolitan.com, and when she's not obsessing about Cardi B, she's thinking about Justin Bieber and still trying to memorize Beyoncé's Beychella choreography.