By COLlive reporter
More than a dozen wildfires raged across Northern California for the third straight day Tuesday, with the biggest ones scorching the state’s famous wine country, killing at least 11 people and forcing more than 20,000 people to evacuate, authorities said.
Officials are hoping that winds will lessen enough Tuesday to allow firefighters to get a handle on the blazes that have ravaged upwards of 100,000 acres.
The largest fires were burning in California’s wine country destinations — Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties — with flames ripping through the lush, picturesque landscape.
Rabbi Mendel and Altie Wolvovsky, Shluchim in S. Rosa, California, have been providing comfort and assistance to evacuees, even after they and their 8 children have been evacuated, as wildfires approached their home from the north and the southeast.
They have become a “makeshift communication center,” Rabbi Wolvovsky says.
“While we are checking in on others, our phones begin to ring with reports ‘from the field,’ requests for help, and general questions,” he said.
After verifying that there is no danger in the immediate area of Chabad, Rabbi Wolvovsky says, he returned to S. Rosa so he can assist and comfort people in person.
He has been reaching out to first-responders to discuss their needs and evolving emergencies, while thanking them for their dedication.
He also visited evacuees at the Veterans Memorial Evacuation Center and assisted in their setup, distributing snacks and comforting words.
“We will be continuing these activities as long as there will be a need,” Rabbi Wolvovsky says. “The Chabad Jewish Center will be open to all to serve hot food and any other needs that may arise.”