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North Bay Fire Survivors Need Help this Holiday Season

Gift Guide | North Bay Fire Survivors

Survivors of the wildfires that devastated Sonoma and Napa counties will need all the help they can get. Photo by Stett Holbrook

Survivors of the deadly North Bay fires lost homes, jobs and precious work hours that will leave many of them struggling to put food on the table during the holidays, let alone afford gifts for their loved ones.

The wind-fueled flames that sparked Oct. 8 razed upward of 9,000 homes, hotels, restaurants and wineries, leaving people with nowhere to live and nowhere to work. Forty-three people died and 100,000 acres burned to an apocalyptic crisp. It will take months, if not years, for the survivors to regain their footing, especially in the thick of one of the most competitive rental markets in the nation.

But when California's Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, its two Democratic senators and 39 Democratic Congress members asked for $7.4 billion in federal disaster aid, a Republican delegation boycotted the request for their own state. In the White House's $44 billion disaster aid bill, which earmarked funding for regions hit by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria this past week, the Trump administration budgeted nothing for the enormous disaster in Sonoma and Napa counties. Apparently, given this pernicious new low in partisan politics, it's up to Californians to take care of their own.

On behalf of Metro's sister newspaper, the North Bay Bohemian, we've set up a charitable fund with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to benefit the people affected by the wildfire. While you're in the giving spirit this holiday season, chip in a donation by going to siliconvalleycf.org/sonomafund.