WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT... THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST WILDFIRES?
Over 170 fires are burning across western Montana and the Pacific Northwest, scorching more than 8 million acres of land. The wildfires have been raging for months and have impacted infrastructure and homes, as well as livestock and natural lands.
Firefighters and disaster teams are fighting a hard battle to stop the wildfires and rebuild the destruction, and the rest of us can lend a hand that will make a difference in the long-haul.
Lead the re-leaf efforts
As wildfires blaze, entire forests are left smoldering in its wake. Regrowth will take a long time, so let's plant the seeds today.
You can give those fire-damaged forests the re-leaf they need by planting a new tree. Know someone with a birthday coming up? Plant a tree in their honor.
Encourage the hard workers
These fires having been raging for months, and still have a long way to go. For many responders, this is a dangerous and exhausting long-haul.
Share your appreciation with the people working hard. You can start with the folks at the Northwest Coordination Center and the Forest Service - Pacific NW region. They are real people who are working through a very challenging time, and words of love and support go a long way.
Feed your inner pet lover
If you're in the area, you can train to become an Animal Disaster Team volunteer with the Central California Animal Disaster Team. You can deploy to portions of the region and help rescue animals that were lost, left behind, or injured during the wildfires.
Not in nearby but love the idea? Either donate to them instead, or check your area for similar opportunities.
Get to packin'
You've heard it before, and you'll hear it again: the best way to fight a disaster is to prepare yourself. You really can't know when a disaster might strike, even if you're not in a typical at-risk location.
Take an hour to put together a basic survival kit, with mostly items that you have at home already. If disaster strikes, you'll need to make moves quickly. Don't be that chump that wishes they took an hour earlier.
Already packed? Take a photo of your tricked-out kit and share it online to remind your friends.
Sport some new gear
Get yourself some new threads or books to rep the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, which provides resources for fallen or injured firefighters and families.
Nine firefighters have died so far in 2017, and many more injured, after selflessly battling the raging fires. That means that their families need some extra support. You can sport some gear to show your appreciation, and the money goes directly to the organization.
TIP: spend 5 minutes digging
Remember, these are just our recommendations, and there's lots more out there. You should always do your own research into potential organizations to make sure that they are legitimate and align with your goals.
Check out Charity Navigator for some top-notch organizations working hard on relief efforts.
Did we miss something awesome?
Share your ideas!
WHAT CAN I DO is ever-expanding, and we need your input to share the best opportunities.