National Guard troops continue to search for missing people in the aftermath of the deadliest wildfire in California history.
At least 56 people died and more than 8,800 homes were destroyed in Paradise, Calif., and some 130 people are still missing. Three others have died in separate fires in southern California.
In an Associated Press story, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said it would take years to rebuild Paradise, a town of about 27,000 in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. “The infrastructure is basically a total rebuild at this point,” Long said. “You’re not going to be able to rebuild Paradise the way it was.”
Incoming Department of California Adjutant Paul Brown said in an email that Post 259 Commander Matt Ellis told him that the post in Paradise is still standing.
Ellis told Brown he intends to turn the post into an emergency reconnection center when residents are able to return to the area. Thousands have evacuated to Chico, with many forced to set up camp in a Walmart parking lot because shelters are at capacity.
The National Emergency Fund is available for American Legion and Sons of The American Legion members who have been impacted by the wildfires, as well as Legion posts. The NEF provides up to $3,000 for Legion and SAL members with an active membership who have been displaced due to damages to their primary residence, and up to $10,000 for posts that have been damaged by a natural disaster and whose programs and activities within the community are impacted. To apply for an NEF grant, please visit www.legion.org/emergency. Donations to the NEF can also be made at that link, and printable donation forms are also available.