The Monterey Park Fire Department currently has two fire engines stationed in the Malibu area assisting with the fire attack. Both engines were initially dispatched to the Thousand Oaks area to battle the Hill Fire but were re-directed to Malibu when the Woolsey Fire broke out. A total of eight personnel have been on the fire line since November 8.
Additional Information from the Monterey Park Fire Department Regarding How to Help Fire Victims; Smoke Exposure Advisory
How can I donate to help the victims of these fires?
If you have not been affected by the fires but would like to help those in need, volunteering either your time or tangible donations are greatly needed. The Monterey Park Fire Department offers the following guidelines to help keep you protected during this fire season along with approved assistance guidelines should you wish to help those in need.
Donate Goods or Services
- Give an evacuee or a firefighter a free place to stay through Airbnb. Find out more here.
- If you’re in California, donate non-perishable food items to the Salvation Army Ventura Corps, which is providing food and shelter to victims and first responders.
- Caring Choices in Butte County is currently looking for medical volunteers.
- Other volunteer opportunities related to the fires are posted on California Volunteers, including financial and other donations.
- GoFundMe has set up pages to directly help people affected by the fires. Head here to help.
- American Red Cross: The Red Cross is providing both shelter and emotional support for evacuees. They also have an online tool that people can use to register themselves as safe so loved ones can find them. You can visit RedCross.org, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make an automatic $10 donation.
- California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund: For 15 years, the foundation has offered aid to those affected by wildfires. Grants have gone to rebuilding homes, providing financial and mental health assistance and helping those affected to get medical treatment.
- Facebook has a Crisis Response page for the Woolsey Fire, which includes fundraising through GlobalGiving.
- Google is channeling donations through the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. Read more about it here.
- Give to the Ventura County Community Foundation‘s Hill Fire and Woolsey Fire Sudden and Urgent Needs Effort Fund.
- The United Way of Greater Los Angeles is partnering with United Way of Ventura County to collect donations to its Disaster Relief Fund. Donate online or text “UWVC to 41444.”
- Donate directly to Direct Relief, which helps provide resources to healthcare agencies and first responders in wildfire-affected areas across California.
- The Salvation Army Ventura Corps is accepting donations to go toward California wildfire relief.
- The California Fire Foundation is a nonprofit that is distributing emergency funds to fire victims, including distributing prepaid credit cards to help victims buy food, clothing, and shelter. Donate to the SAVE program here.
- Since the fires are in Hollywood’s backyard, the Entertainment Industry Foundation is raising money through its Fire Relief Fund to help those affected. One of its beneficiaries is the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation, which provides hydration backpacks and night vision goggles for helicopter pilots. Last year funds went to the L.A. Fire Department, L.A. Kitchen, and the Humane Society of Ventura County.
- You can also donate directly to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
- The Firefighters Charitable Foundation accepts donations to support volunteer fire stations and help wildfire victims.
- Baby2Baby is distributing essential items to children affected by the ongoing fires. Help them supply diapers, wipes, blankets, and other basic baby needs by purchasing from their registry.
Smoke Exposure Advisory
Even if you don't live or work near a major fire, you can still be affected by smoke particles in the air. So, what's in that smoke, and how much should you worry about it? Depending on the fire, the smoke can be made up of various substances including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, water vapor, particulate matter, organic chemicals, nitrogen oxides and more. Exposure to smoke can cause a range of health effects, so it is important to make sure you and your loved ones are protected from any unnecessary exposure. Particulate matter is the main public health threat during short-term exposure to wildfire smoke, so it’s crucial to protect yourself.
What should I do if I'm in an area affected by smoke?
Stay indoors; close all doors and windows. Everyone should avoid vigorous outdoor and indoor activity. Those with respiratory difficulties or heart problems, as well as the elderly and young children should all remain indoors. Keep windows closed and run your air conditioner if possible. Running an indoor air filter is effective in helping reduce the amount of polluted air inside the home. Do not use any indoor or outdoor wood-burning appliances or fireplaces. When smoke subsides, you should air out your home to clear any polluted air that might be trapped inside.
What if I don’t have air conditioning, and it’s too hot to stay inside?
Heat can be dangerous to anyone, but especially the elderly and very young. If you rely on open windows and doors for cooling, AQMD recommends you stay with friends or family, or head to a clean air shelter.
What if I have to be outside?
The best thing to do is to seek shelter, but if you must be outside, being prepared is key. Wearing a special N95 or P100 respirator mask can help protect you against the fine particles in smoke. Paper or surgical masks are not effective in preventing inhalation of smoke.
Who is the most vulnerable to smoke exposure?
Most healthy people will recover quickly if exposed to smoke, but there’s a large number of people who should take extra precaution. People with asthma and those with cardiovascular or respiratory diseases can experience worsening of their conditions if they inhale smoke. The elderly, young children and pregnant women are all sensitive populations that should avoid exposure. In addition, smokers should beware, because they may not feel symptoms of exposure as acutely as non-smokers.
What if I’m driving through an area affected by smoke?
A car should only be used to leave an area, not as shelter. If you’re in a car, close windows and doors and run your car’s air conditioner, making sure you’re circulating the air already in the car and not pulling in fresh/smoky air. However, according to the AQMD, carbon dioxide levels can spike quickly in newer cars if vents and windows are closed and the circulation setting is on. It’s a good idea to crack the windows once you're in there for a while to prevent grogginess.
Division Chief Matt Hallock, PIO, Monterey Park Fire Department