Butte Fire Victims: Resources and Help

By Friends & Neighbors December 9, 2015 08:15

photo-1The Butte Fire, which started Sept. 9, claimed two lives, injured one person and displaced thousands of residents of Amador and Calaveras counties. The Calaveras County Assessor’s Office along with FEMA officials report 769 structures, including 503 homes, destroyed in the blaze’s rampage across more than 70,000 acres.

Below is information on long-term help available to individuals and families affected by this disaster.

Cal Fire Butte Fire Incident Information page.

Counseling and Support

Calaveras County Behavioral Health Services, 891 Mountain Ranch Rd., San Andreas, (209) 754-6525, mh.calaverasgov.us

  • 24 Hour Crisis Line, (209) 754-3239, toll free 1-800-499-3030
  • Walk-in services available Mon.-Fri. (except holidays), 8:30am-5pm

Calaveras Recovers, (209) 498-8083, calaverasrecovers.org

  • New network offers case management, crisis counseling and spiritual care through its partner agencies to aid in “rebuilding lives and homes.”

Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 (for Spanish speakers, Hablanos to 66746)

  • National hotline operated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) “provides crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters,” according to the agency’s website, samhsa.gov.

Financial Assistance

ATCAA, 935 S. Highway 49, Jackson, (209) 223-1485, ext. 221; 509 E. St. Charles St., San Andreas, (209) 754-6546, atcaa.org

  • Offers help with PG&E and propane bills to income-qualified residents of Calaveras and Amador counties.  Call for office hours. Applications for assistance require ID, PG&E or propane bill and proof of income.

Calaveras County Association of Realtors Charities, 1270 Suzanne Dr., Suite B, Angels Camp, (209) 736-4600, calaverasrealtors.com

Property tax assistance

  • Those who own property in Calaveras County that was damaged or destroyed in the Butte Fire may qualify for property tax relief if the amount of damage exceeds $10,000. Applications for reassessment must be filed with the Calaveras County Assessor’s Office within one year of when the damage occurred. Call (209) 754-6346, assessor.calaverasgov.us.  Click here for more information and application.

Salvation Army, Calaveras County Health and Human Services Agency, 509 E. St. Charles St., San Andreas, (209) 754-6851

  • Emergency assistance available Mon.-Fri., 8am-5pm. Assistance may include gas vouchers, propane, medications. For more information, call Kathy Houle, (209)  754-6851.

U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC), 891 Mountain Ranch Rd., San Andreas

  • Hours: Mon.-Fri., 9am-6pm
  • “Provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses … private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters” and can be used to repair or replace “real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets” according to the SBA’s website, sba.gov. Call the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center, 1-800-659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Food and Other Assistance

Calaveras County Association of Realtors Charities, 1270 Suzanne Dr., Suite B, Angels Camp, (209) 736-4600, calaverasrealtors.com

Common Ground Senior Services Calaveras office, 130 E. St. Charles St., San Andreas, (209) 498-2246, commongroundseniorservices.org

  • Assistance available for those age 60 and older. Call for information, (209) 498-2246.

Friends of Rail Road Flat School, friendsofrrfschool.org

  • Operates a donation truck stocked with frequently requested items; see  Friends of Rail Road Flat School Facebook page for updated list.
  • To receive assistance or to donate items, contact: Autumn Andahl, (209) 304-8932; Rochelle Sweet, (209) 256-7587;  Holly Mines, (209) 293-4953; or Terry Miner, (209) 293-4399.
  • Monetary donations accepted online at friendsofrrfschool.org, or mail to Friends of Rail Road Flat School, P.O. Box 223, Rail Road Flat, CA 95248.

Mountain Ranch Youth Alliance and Resource Center, 7869 Whiskey Slide Rd., Mountain Ranch, (209) 754-4073, mountainranchresourcecenter.com

  • Operates a food pantry 9am-1pm Thursdays, open to all.
  • Offers free community meals 11am-1pm Tuesdays and Thursdays, open to all.
  • In a joint venture with Mountain Ranch Community Club, established the Mountain Ranch Fire Relief Fund which helps provide basic and emergency needs of those affected by the fire. Apply at Mountain Ranch Resource Center. To donate to the fund, make check payable to and mail to Mountain Ranch Community Club (note “Mountain Ranch Fire Relief Fund” in memo line), P.O. Box 122, Mountain Ranch, CA 95246.

The Resource Connection Food Bank, 206 George Reed Drive, San Andreas, (209) 754-1257, trcac.org

  • Food bank open Mon.-Fri., 9am-4pm.
  • Also operates many community food pantries and a mobile pantry; for locations, click here.

Legal Services

American Bar Association’s Disaster Legal Services Program, 1-844-657-0479

  • Hours: Mon.-Fri., 9am-9pm
  • The ABA’s Young Lawyers Division provides “immediate temporary legal assistance to disaster survivors at no charge … for survivors who cannot afford a lawyer,” according to the ABA’s website, americanbar.org. Services include help with: securing disaster benefits; insurance claims; home repair contractors and contracts; replacement of  important destroyed legal documents; and more.

To Donate to the Recovery Effort

In addition to the non-profit organizations listed above, the following groups are accepting donations:

Calaveras Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund, 1211 S. Main St., Angels Camp, (209) 736-1845, calaverascommunityfoundation.org

  • Foundation’s goal is long-term involvement in Butte Fire recovery efforts through donating to local non-profits involved in many aspects of recovery. Donations may be made online (note “DRF” in PayPal comment box) or mailed to Calaveras Community Foundation, P. O. Box 1436, Angels Camp, CA 95222 (note “DRF” on check’s memo line).

Calaveras Recovers, (209) 214-6836, (209) 286-6326, calaverasrecovers.org

  • New network of non-profits, businesses and government agencies seeks to coordinate “resources to provide support and guidance to those individuals and families devastated by the regional disaster, whose recovery needs are not met by insurance or government aid programs,” according to the group’s mission statement. Donations may be mailed to Calaveras Recovers, P. O. Box 395, Mountain Ranch, CA 95246.



By Friends & Neighbors December 9, 2015 08:15
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