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Red Cross facing evacuation shelter changes due to COVID-19 pandemic

Action News Now Esteban Reynoso was in Thermalito with more on how the coronavirus is impacting the Red Cross' ability to help fire victims.

Posted: Jun 18, 2020 4:39 PM

THERMALITO, Calif. - As we get into the wildfire season, the Red Cross is getting ready to answer the call.

The 95-acre Nelson Fire burned three homes and damaged two other buildings Wednesday.

The Red Cross responded quickly, helping victims by handing out food and water. Normally, it would set up shelters where victims could rest, recover, and get support. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic going on, they had to make sure people could stay socially distant.

Officials with the Red Cross told Action News Now it can be expensive.

"Our mission to alleviate human suffering has not changed, but how we do it has," Executive Director with the Red Cross Northeast Chapter, Nuriddin Ziyadinov said. "That means hotels, that means different motels, and different housing options. That means we are taking some extra costs on our end. So hotels and everything that's being paid for by the Red Cross."

The Nelson Fire victims are staying with family instead of with the Red Cross. If they can't find hotel rooms for disaster victims, the Red Cross said it will set up a socially distant shelter.

The Red Cross receives most of its money from donations.

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Get out and enjoy this beautiful weather tonight! If you do head out and plan to stay out late, probably bring an extra later to throw on for when the sun sets as temperatures will be cooling off into the low to mid 60s for the valley by midnight and low to mid 40s by tomorrow morning.
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