With nearly 4,000 residents and 1,100 homes threatened by the Mountain Fire in Shasta County, affected communities are turning to social media for updates, support and assistance.
Many locals are gathering in virtual communities on Facebook — the most popular being “FIRE, TRAFFIC & DISASTER INFORMATION SHASTA COUNTY” for photo and video updates and “FIRE & TRAFFIC Questions, Chit Chat & support Shasta Co ‘aka’ voices” for personal questions and community updates.
“From Old Alturus,” one user wrote, “we can see flames.”
Another let neighbors and friends in on her status and published some vivid pictures of smoke rising from the vegetation. “Truck is packed,” she said. “I have the car.”
On Instagram, a woman expressed her disappointment while taking a picture of the smoke inundating her parents’ street. Another updated followers on the arrival of fire retardants earlier in the day.
Individuals, groups and businesses are using social media to offer or request support and assistance.
When a user shared live footage of his backyard — devastated by fire in just 45 minutes by raging flames — as a tanker flew overhead and farm animals stormed away, comments poured in.
“Oh gosh ... ,” one comment said. “This is so heartbreaking,” another wrote, adding teared up emojis.
“Is my house still standing?” is a common question on Facebook groups, where some are sharing their addresses, hoping others might have eyes on their residences.
“I need someone to keep me notified If Bollibokka gets hit,” one man wrote in a public assistance group, later revealing his mother was waiting out the blaze at the fishing club. “I heard it’s at the market in front of. Please.”
Across the internet, forums are emerging to find victims safe homes to stay the night. A business in Redding even offered assistance for farm animals in the area.