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Helping Neighbors in Need After the McKinney Fire

November 21, 2022


Disaster Relief

For many residents that live in wildfire-prone areas, daily life can feel as ordinary as it gets. California resident Jess Smith-Rowe says “living in the West, you get pretty used to forest fires as kind of a normal thing, and you take them seriously, but you also kind of continue on with life as usual.”

After learning that the McKinney Fire was fast approaching, he says that he realized his decision to evacuate cost him when he found himself trapped by fire on the highway: “I felt that I’d waited too long and I was going to lose my life.”

While he survived, the incident left homes like Jess’s in ashes. Yet, his story is one of many. Understanding this, Tzu Chi volunteers organized a relief distribution in Yreka, CA on August 29, 2022 to provide emergency financial aid to households just like Jess’s.

Receiving his cash card, he said, “it’s difficult, so I appreciate the fact that your agency is able to give a financial donation with no strings attached.”

Watch and help us do more to provide relief after disaster at


Director: Renee Liu
Director of Photography: Renee Liu
Editor: Renee Liu
Additional Camera: Kitty Lu
Producer: Ting Fan
Music Credit: Ardie Son - Come Back Home, Artlist Beneath the Mountain - Forest by the Sea, Artlist

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