Smoke and ash engulfed Goleta, California, Friday night, as firefighters and emergency personnel battled a blaze that erupted around 9 p.m., three miles from Direct Relief’s headquarters.
The fire spread fast, forcing residents to flee their homes by the hundreds.
By Saturday morning, flames had torched at least 20 structures and threatened dozens more.
Soon after the fire started, Direct Relief extended offers of assistance to local officials and emergency agencies and delivered 1,000 particulate masks to an evacuation center nearby.
Direct Relief keeps a running inventory of items, such as N-95 masks and respiratory medications, for precisely these scenarios.
Beyond the threat from high temperatures, wildfires can exacerbate chronic health issues such as asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory problems. For those with such conditions, fires deal a harsh combination of smoke, dust and other particulates in the air.
Direct Relief will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves and remains ready to support the public response as needed.