Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) has responded to needs of Southern California communities in the path of deadly wildfires. Ten fires continue raging from Ventura County, east to San Bernardino County, and south to San Diego County. At least 16 people are dead, more than 1,500 homes have been destroyed, and over 500,000 acres of land is charred. More than 10,000 people have been forced from their homes. President Bush declared a major disaster in affected areas in California.
"Fires are burning in several parts of the diocese including the Simi Valley area and San Bernardino County where several parishioners have already lost homes," said the Rt Revd Chester L. Talton, Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Los Angeles.
On behalf of the Episcopal Church, Episcopal Relief and Development has immediately sent emergency assistance to the Diocese of Los Angeles. These funds will help provide food, medical assistance, temporary shelter, and other immediate needs.