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Above: Credit: Ty Zell

Update on the NCO Fire Relief Fund

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

CalFire announced on Thursday, October 26 that the Mendocino Lake Complex Fire, which includes the Redwood Complex Fire in Mendocino County and the Sulphur Fire in Lake County, is 100% contained. The fires burned a combined total of 38,000 acres, destroyed more than 500 structures, many of them homes, and claimed the lives of at least nine people.

Within hours of the fires breaking out, North Coast Opportunities, Inc. (NCO) re-opened its Fire Relief Fund in Lake County. This is the third year that NCO has stepped up to provide immediate financial relief for fire survivors, and it is using the same process to collect, review, and approve applications that it developed in response to the 2015 Valley Fire and fine-tuned during the 2016 Clayton Fire, both in Lake County. The deadline to apply to the fire relief fund is Thursday, November 30.

As the ash settles and people begin to take stock of their lives, many survivors are facing financial hardship as they start the long process of replacing what was lost. The fire relief fund will help with those immediate needs, as well as long-term needs that are only starting to take focus.

Significant fundraising has already happened and will continue in both counties. Business and private sponsorship is covering administrative fees, enabling 100% of the funds raised to go to those affected by the fires. In Mendocino County, more than $700,000 has been raised; in Lake County, the total is more than $50,000.

Redwood Credit Union Community Foundation (RCUCF) is directing a sizable amount of money toward the Fire Relief Fund, and NCO will also send fire survivors in Lake and Mendocino Counties with total loss a check for $1,000 using RCUCF funds.

Mendocino County residents will get an additional $1,000 from the Community Foundation of Mendocino County’s Disaster Fund, which is partnering with NCO on fire relief.

After all the applications submitted by people with total loss are processed, applicants with partial loss and evacuation costs will be considered.

Funds will also be used toward long-term relief. In Lake County, for example, NCO has partnered with other organizations to provide rental assistance and gap financing for those recovering from the 2015 and 2016 fires. Says NCO Executive Director Patty Bruder, ““NCO will continue to do what we can to help our communities recover and rebuild.”

Please call NCO’s Fire Information line at (707) 467-3236 for more information.