Paradise, the epicenter of California’s devastating wildfires, received an outpouring of donations initially following the wildfire. The community received a surprising donation earlier in the month when a U-Haul truck filled with instruments made a 700-mile journey to Paradise.
The truck provided donations of musical instruments ranging from French horns to pianos, violins, clarinets and even saxophones. The instruments were given to youths and families that lost their homes in the wildfire.
Volunteers packed up nearly 250 instruments that had been donated to the Camp Fire families and dispersed the items. The truck also had pet food and a veterinary table.
Camp Fire occurred six months ago, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been slow to help families that lost everything in the blaze. FEMA is preparing to open the first mobile home park, built for survivors, nearly six months after many lost their homes and all of their valuables.
Four unfinished mobile home parks are still in the works, and around 700 units of temporary housing are planned. People were expected to be housed for just a year and a half, but FEMA may take just as long to get these communities built.
Celebrities did their part to help those impacted by the wildfires. Sandra Bullock donated $100,000 to the Humane Society, Lady Gaga delivered food, coffee and gift cards to a shelter. Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth donated $500,000.
Music artist Josh Pfeiffer, a California native and resident, donated 6 months of the proceeds from his Life single and music video to the victims of the Northern California Wildfires. Pfeiffer, like many musicians, are doing their part to help the victims of the deadliest wildfires in California’s history.
Pink donated to the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation along with Ellen DeGeneres, who teamed up with Walmart to donate $100,000 to the fire department.
California sustained $3.5 billion in damages by December 2018 all relating to wildfires during the year. Firefighters spent $1.79 billion in fire suppression and over $400 million was spent trying to stop the spreading of wildfires.
Campfire killed at least 86 people and led to the destruction of 18,000 structures.
Dead tree fuel also helped spread the wildfire when the amount of dead fuel rose to 129 million trees as of December 2017. Atmospheric conditions further led to the spread and a higher risk of wildfires in the state. Less rain and higher temperatures have also led to fires that burn for longer periods of time and at a higher rate.