S.A.V.E. Assists Thousands After North Bay Firestorm


A total of 4,000 victim assistance card sent to disaster zone

After a series of massive wildfires burned for weeks throughout California’s Wine Country, claiming more than dozen lives and leaving thousands of residents homeless, North Bay firefighters and the California Fire Foundation are helping to pick up the pieces.

In the days following the initial devastation, the Foundation activated a large scale incident response through its Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency (SAVE) program, which is intended to provide immediate, on-scene relief to those affected by fire or natural disaster by way of $100 gift cards to cover food, lodging or other immediate needs.

“When major disasters like the North Bay Fire Storm occur, firefighters are often looking for a way to help once the flames are out,” said Foundation Chair Lou Paulson. “Through the SAVE program, we’re able to provide some small level of comfort to those who have lost everything.”

In all, more than 4,000 SAVE cards were sent to the scene of the fires, with more than 1,500 cards activated in the first days after arrival. Cards continued to be activated well into December, as residents impacted by the wildfires slowly return to the area, only to find their homes and belongings destroyed. The cards, which were distributed in coordination with leadership from Santa Rosa Firefighters, Local 1401 and Napa City, were made available to impacted residents through disaster response facilities throughout the region.

“Our affiliates in the North Bay did a phenomenal job responding to this event, both in terms of protecting lives and property, and in providing assistance in the days after the disaster,” Paulson said.

While the SAVE program provides an important way to serve communities following major disasters, the program has also provided immediate assistance to thousands of Californians in communities all across the state, year-round.

Funding is provided by the Foundation through contributions from companies such as Cheveron, Pay Pal, Boeing, Pepsi Co and more.

To learn more about how locals can become involved in the SAVE program, visit