The Thomas Fire, which erupted in Ventura County last week and has been raging across the unfortunately-dry-and-windy California landscape, is now larger than the entirety of New York City and only 15 percent contained, according to the fire protection agency CAL FIRE.
Rather than waiting for the last embers to go out, Ventura surfers led by surf clothing brand Iron & Resin founder Thom Hill have already started a guerilla relief campaign, raising money, organizing volunteers and delivering supplies to affected people in the area.
According to Hill’s GoFundMe campaign:
“Almost all of us at Iron & Resin were personally affected in some way by the fires, but fortunately none of us lost our homes. Many in our community have not been so fortunate. We’ve had so many people reach out to us with a desire to help. So we decided to do something about it. Having a large social and professional network to activate and coordinate relief efforts as well as local facilities, we’re in a position to provide aide to those most affected. We’re coordinating a relief effort called Help California (#helpcalifornia) to bring aid and relief to those families who have lost their homes and are faced with the monumental task of picking up the pieces of their lives.
We already have volunteers in the field canvassing the areas that have been hit the hardest by this fire, assessing the needs of those families, to determine what items or services we can provide to give them even the smallest amount of relief.
We’re in the process of setting up a distribution center and temporary command post at The Iron & Resin Garage in Ventura, where people will be able to pick up tools, supplies and basic necessities. We’ll also be stocking the Iron & Resin trailer with supplies and setting up temporary outpost locations to distribute relief items. We’re looking for brands or retailers who are willing to donate some of these items, while also raising funds to purchase what we can’t get through donations and to be able to help provide families meet their basic needs.
There are a number of ways you can help. The easiest is to simply donate money. Any amount helps. We’ll be updating this site daily with how the funds are being used and sharing the stories of those families it is helping. If you’re a brand, retailer or equipment rental service, we’re also looking for donations of new (unused) goods and supplies, as well as demolition equipment and tools.
BELOW IS A LIVE FEED OF CURRENTLY NEEDED ITEMS:
– Carpentry tools
– Impact power drills
– Generators and/or power stations
– Protective gear – eyewear, suits and boots
– Gasoline / Diesel – full cans for generators
– Demo tools – shovels, sledge hammers, contractor bags, hammers, chain saws
– Fire Extinguishers
– Man Power
We’ll be updating this list daily, as our field teams come back with other needs. Please bring items between 11a – 7p to Iron & Resin in downtown Ventura @ 324 E Main St, Ventura, CA 93001.
Finally, we’d love to have you join us and volunteer. We’ll need help sorting and distributing relief items, canvassing affected neighborhoods to assess needs and assisting families with cleanup and recovery efforts. If you'd like to volunteer please contact Taylor@ironandresin.com”
For more information on how you can help in the relief effort, go to https://www.gofundme.com/iron-resin-relief-california.
[Top image: A Ventura beach break framed by clouds of smoke from the nearby fire. Photo by Stevens]