The Salvation Army continues to help Erskine Fire victims, shelters to remain open

Posted at 3:10 PM, Jun 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-30 18:10:42-04

The Salvation Army continues to provide care to the survivors of the massive Erskine Fire, a swift-moving blaze that has destroyed 285 homes and burned 46,684 acres of North Eastern Kern County.

Yesterday was the first day fire suppression was secure enough for The Salvation Army’s canteens (mobile kitchens) to visit some of the burned communities.  Volunteers provided lunches, cold water and emotional care to survivors as they returned to their neighborhoods for the first time to survey damage.  Canteen service will continue tomorrow and into the weekend, as needed.

Since its response began on June 23, The Salvation Army has provided 3,458 meals and 2,245 snacks to evacuees at the two Red Cross –operated shelters & evacuation centers (Kernville Elementary School in Kernville and St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Wofford Heights). More than 600 hours of volunteer support have been contributed to the effort by trained Salvation Army disaster response volunteers from Tehachapi, Lake Isabella, Ridgecrest, Bakersfield, Modesto, Hanford, Hollister, and San Francisco.

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Salvation Army responds to Erskine Fire

A new team of volunteers will arrive on Monday to provide relief to crews that have been serving all week. To date, the shelters are scheduled to remain open until further notice, which continue to host 90+ individuals overnight and 180 survivors during each meal.

“Though the size of the fire is diminishing, the scope of need is not,” said John McKnight, Director of Emergency and Disaster Services for The Salvation Army, Golden State Division.  “The Salvation Army plans to continue its presence to be a source of aid and encouragement as survivors learn the fate of their homes and prepare to rebuild their towns, their neighborhoods, and their lives.”

Photos of The Salvation Army’s Erskine Fire response can be found online:

How people can help:
Donations to support The Salvation Army’s feeding and relief work in Kern County can be made online at, by sending a check earmarked “Kern County Wildfires” to their local Salvation Army office, or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY and designating the donation for the “Kern County Wildfires.”  

Although The Salvation Army is not requesting in-kind goods donations at this time, gifts of gently-used household goods, clothing, etc., are always needed by Salvation Army Family Stores to support their work in the local community. Find out more at

The Salvation Army is grateful to the public for their continued support.

About The Salvation Army:
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. For more information, go to or follow The Salvation Army Golden State Division on Facebook at


Courtesy: The Salvation Army