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Above: photo credit: Adam Wiedmann

Clayton Fire Relief Fund Information

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

NCO and MendoLake Credit Union have re-opened the Lake County Wildfire Relief Fund in response to the Clayton Fire, which destroyed 300 structures in and around Lower Lake in Lake County.

Applications are due by Friday, September 23, four weeks after the official CalFire containment date. Applications must be fully completed and must include proof of address to be considered. If an application cannot be fully completed, an explanation of why certain information is missing must be given.

Applicants are asked to be aware that the fund can only distribute as much as is raised. As of 9/15/16, donations total about $150,000. NCO, MLCU, and all other participating partners are doing everything they can to spread the word about how to donate. Many outlets including the print media, radio, TV news, CalFire, and the Lake County Sherriff’s office are referring interested donors to this fund. “Our sincere hope is that enough money is raised to help everyone impacted,” said NCO Executive Assistant Elizabeth Archer, who is one of the primary administrators of the fund. “We understand everyone has need, but the reality is we may not be able to help everyone.” Priority is given to those with a high level of loss (i.e. loss of home or job) and/or little or no insurance coverage.

Applications will follow the same protocol established during the 2015 fire season. Last year’s committee comprised of fund partners and community members has been reactivated. They are currently reviewing all applications, and will prioritize funding based on the level of need. The first checks will be sent out on or around September 9th.

Monetary donations are being accepted at all Mendo Lake Credit Union and Savings Bank of Mendocino County branches. Additionally, checks can be mailed to NCO at 413 N. State Street, Ukiah CA 95482. Make checks out to NCO/Wildfire Relief, and write “Clayton Fire” in the memo. Donations are also being accepted via PayPal. 100% of donations go directly to those impacted; NCO is not taking administrative fees, and MLCU is helping with the cost of operating the fund.

NCO is a 501c3 organization that serves as the Community Action Agency for Lake and Mendocino Counties. In 2015, the Lake County Wildfire Relief Fund was created in response to the Rocky, Jerusalem, and Valley Fires, and the fund disbursed approximately $1.6 million in direct aid to more than 1,000 survivors.