USA Wildfires Response

by Peace Winds America
USA Wildfires Response
USA Wildfires Response
USA Wildfires Response
USA Wildfires Response
Destruction following 2021 Kentucky tornadoes
Destruction following 2021 Kentucky tornadoes

As the weather begins to warm and summer approaches, the U.S. is entering wildfire season. Warmer temperatures and drier climates lead to ideal conditions for wildfires, which can strike without warning, making states in the western and southwestern U.S. especially vulnerable.

Fortunately, according to the National Interagency Fire Center, 2023 totals for the number of wildfires and acres burned throughout the country have been below the 10-year average so far. Despite this, Peace Winds knows that wildfires can strike even when they’re unexpected, putting people’s homes and lives at risk in an instant. Colorado’s Marshall Fire, which struck during the winter of 2021, is proof of this. 

In addition to wildfires, natural disasters like tornadoes are also threatening communities throughout the U.S. According to the Washington Post, the first three months of 2023 started strong with the second-most tornadoes on record. As of May 3, 2023, the National Weather Service had recorded 595 tornadoes which killed 63 people. 

Following the devastating tornadoes that struck western Kentucky in December 2021, Peace Winds partnered with the local chapter of the Red Cross who provided food, water, clothing, bedding, and temporary shelter to tornado survivors. Peace Winds continues to collect donations to ensure that we are well-prepared to aid in disaster relief if and when another major wildfire or tornado strikes the United States again. We thank you for your continued support.

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It has been nearly one year since the most destructive fire in Colorado’s state history forced more than 35,000 residents of the Boulder area to evacuate their homes. The fire overtook more than 6,000 acres, damaging or destroying nearly 2,000 structures, including homes and businesses. Two people were killed in the disaster. Although many of the fire’s survivors are underinsured, they are still working hard to rebuild their homes and lives one year later. 

Winter is traditionally a time of lower fire danger in the United States, but Boulder’s Marshall Fire is a reminder that disasters like it can strike at any time. High winds and unseasonably warm, dry conditions allowed the fire to spread quickly, and unfortunately, climate change only continues to make this problem worse.

Peace Winds is continuing to collect donations to ensure that we are well-prepared to aid in disaster relief if and when another situation like the Marshall Fire strikes communities in the western United States again. In the immediate aftermath of these tragedies, support includes providing basic necessities like food, water, clothing, bedding, and temporary shelter as well as medical and mental health services. Peace Winds aims to be well-prepared to provide this kind of aid as soon as it is needed. We appreciate your continued support.

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Southern CA Brush Fire Courtesy Getty Images
Southern CA Brush Fire Courtesy Getty Images

The western United States has become increasingly warm and dry over the last several decades thanks to climate change. According to the Associated Press, a 22-year-long drought worsened in 2021 to the point that the region is now the driest it has been in the last 1,200 years. These hot, dry conditions–especially in the summer months–are unfortunately the perfect recipe for wildfires, and this season has been no different.

The largest wildfire this summer struck northern California in late July, killing four people, destroying much of the Klamath River community, and burning more than 55,000 acres of national forest. Rainfall following the fires causes flooding and debris flow from burned patches of land, making the damage even worse.  Most recently in the last week of August, fires have sprung up in rural areas of the state, burning thousands of acres of land including scattered homes as well as widespread evacuations.

Peace Winds continues to collect donations for local chapters of our partner organization, the American Red Cross, who is active in the regions where wildfires are spreading and best equipped to provide aid including temporary shelter, food, water, and other basic necessities. Thank you for all the support you have given to this project so far, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with our donors and the Red Cross as wildfire season continues.

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Marshall Fire courtesy Getty Images
Marshall Fire courtesy Getty Images

Following the Marshall Fire in Boulder, Colorado in December, Peace Winds has been collecting donations that will go directly to homeowners who are rebuilding. Peace Winds would like to thank our generous donors for supporting this project, and contributing to the rebuilding process for Colorodans who have lost their homes. 

Unfortunately, wildfire season is just beginning for many rural locations in the western United States, and incidents like the Marshall Fire are an example of how quickly catastrophe can strike. Already in early and mid-April 2022, two wildfires broke out and combined in northeastern New Mexico, causing about 3,500 people to have to evacuate. The fires have burned approximately 145,00 acres and 166 homes, in addition to other structures. Parts of New Mexico have already been under critical fire threat, and this is expected to expand to the entire state this week. 

The threat of wildfires is only going to worsen in the southwest, including parts of Arizona and Colorado, as dry conditions persist. Peace Winds plans to continue to partner with local chapters of the American Red Cross, as well as other local nonprofit organizations, who are best equipped to serve the affected communities. Thank you so much for all the support you have shown this project so far, and Peace Winds looks forward to your continued support as we enter the summer months and the height of wildfire season.

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On December 30, 2021, the most destructive fire in state history broke out in Boulder County in northern Colorado. High winds and unseasonably warm, dry conditions allowed the fire to spread quickly, and while Colorado often sees wildfires that burn through uninhabited grasslands and forests, the Marshall Fire destroyed densely packed suburban neighborhoods, including homes and businesses. The fire burned more than 6,000 acres containing more than 1,000 structures. 

Peace Winds is aiding local relief efforts by collecting donations for the Community Foundation Boulder County. The county recently opened a Disaster Assistance Center to provide survivors with a range of services including assistance with filing claims for property loss, gift cards for food and transportation, mental health services, COVID-19 tests, information about short- and long-term housing, and more. The center will be open seven days a week for those who lost their homes or were displaced by the Marshall Fire. 

Additionally, you may know that Peace Winds has a soft spot for animals. Peace Winds Japan’s Peace Wanko project saves thousands of stray pets from euthanasia each year through the retraining and rehoming program. We are bringing this love of animals to Boulder, Colorado by supporting animal rescue efforts of the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, which has been instrumental in reuniting lost pets who survived the fire with their owners.

The Marshall Fire has hit particularly close to home for Peace Winds as our own communications associate, Sarah, lives just an hour away from Boulder County. Therefore, we are especially grateful for any and all support from our donors. Whether you can make a donation or simply share this project with a friend, you have our sincerest thanks. 

Visit the Peace Winds website to learn more about our humanitarian work around the world, sign up for our newsletter, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter to stay up-to-date on all of our projects. 

Photos courtesy of Getty Images. 

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Organization Information

Peace Winds America

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @PWAmerica
Project Leader:
Wayne Nissly
Washington , DC United States
$379 raised of $35,000 goal
8 donations
$34,621 to go
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