‘Hell and high water’

Let’s help our neighbors in Oroville

With the Wall Fire burning just outside of Oroville, residents of that city and its surroundings are grappling with catastrophe for the second time in six months, following February’s Oroville Dam spillway failures. As of the CN&R’s deadline Wednesday morning (July 12), 41 residences were confirmed destroyed and three more damaged by the conflagration, with thousands of evacuees still awaiting word that it’s safe to return home. The fire, at 5,800 acres, was 60 percent contained.

A Facebook meme depicts Oroville going through “Hell and high water”—flames following the floods. What a potent reminder.

We urge readers to reach out and lend a hand. The best resource—both for helpers and those in need—is the county’s website (buttecounty.net). The site lists resources ranging from animal shelters to evacuation centers to the Oroville Municipal Auditorium, which is serving as an assistance center to help those whose homes have been lost or sustained damage. It also lists reputable agencies to ensure donations go to those in need. The North Valley Community Foundation, for one, has started a Wall Fire Emergency Response Fund and guarantees that 100 percent of donated funds will go to organizations on the ground.

The Butte County Sheriff’s Office has warned of scammers claiming to be fire victims, so be vigilant and give only to trustworthy organizations.

As firefighters continue to fight the blaze and those who’ve lost homes and other belongings begin to put the pieces back together, let’s all remember to be compassionate. Oroville and other points south may have faced two trials already this year, but as we know all too well, we can’t predict where the next one will hit.