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October 28, 2021

Replay the above video to learn more about the surge of annual wildfires dubbed “wildfire season”, forcing Californians to face a new challenge each year. Wildfires displace thousands of residents, including the most vulnerable people who face loss of home, wages, and tremendous challenges on the way to recovery. Last year our Northern California region experienced the largest wildfire to date, and we are now amidst the second-largest wildfire in California history.

Not only are acres burned, but these fires are also pushing more and more Californians deeper into poverty each year.

How can we target assistance to wildfire victims with the fewest resources? How can we support equitable recovery after a devastating loss? What should we consider as we grapple with a “new normal” for a CA wildfire season that exacerbates inequalities that have already grown too wide?

  • San Jose Fire Chief Robert Sapien shares about Northern California’s fire history, how we got here, and how fire stations mobilize resources to help our community.
  • Rita Mancera, Executive Director of Puente de la Costa Sur shares the perspective of being a UWBA funded local nonprofit for wildfire recovery and shares what it was like to provide support to families in need.
  • Jeff Bellisario, Executive Director at Bay Area Council Economic Institute shares a report on wildfire and development policy suggestions for California.
  • Hosts Kevin Zwick and Lisa Carreno, CEOs of local United Ways talk about the role that nonprofits play in disaster relief and recovery and how community resources like 211 lend immediate and long-term support.