California is in the middle of what has been described as “one of the worst disasters in California’s history,” as first responders continue to fight off massive wildfires and rescue those at risk who were unable to escape this disastrous situation. Nearly 2 dozen different fires have swept across various parts of the West Coast state, destroying almost everything in their path.
According to ABC News, the flames have now reached over 170,000 acres of land, damaged or destroyed at least 3,500 properties, and forced roughly 20,000 people into evacuation. On Wednesday, the death toll rose to 21 people and over 550 people are reportedly believed to still be missing. Sadly, all of these numbers are expected to drastically increase until the fire is completely contained.
As our country has learned through the devastating aftermath of recent hurricanes, people have a tendency to come together and bring hope during times of difficulty. Professional California sports teams have united, creating a silver lining amid these destructive wildfires.
Teams including the Oakland Raiders, the San Francisco 49ers, the Golden State Warriors, the San Francisco Giants, and others have contributed $450,000 collectively towards fire relief efforts, reported Mercury News. Given that many of their fans have been a victim in some way, helping those affected by this natural disaster is dear to their heart.
According to USA Today, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, released a heartwarming statement in relation to the fires. Carr has been with the team since 2014 and is a well-known devout Christian, who freely shares his love for Jesus on social media and public appearances. Additionally, his team has been impacted by the fires directly, forcing them to reschedule practice sessions due to poor air quality.
Carr stated, "My heart really goes out to the families. When something like that happens and then someone tells you what it really is, you just sit there and think you're fortunate, you're blessed. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families that have lost houses, loved ones.”
He continued, “That kind of stuff, that's real life. That's hard. Being 2-3 is not hard when we really think about it. Doing that kind of stuff, that's what's really hard. Our prayers are with them that they can have peace and encouragement."
These teams, faced with a heavy heart, also encouraged their fans to donate towards the cause. Watch the video below for more information on how you can get involved.
Please continue to pray for those affected by the California wildfires. In related news, a tragic story surfaced about an elderly couple who was killed as a result of the fire.