Catholic Charities On-site in Fiery California

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia, OCT. 25, 2007 ( People from Catholic Charities offered hot meals and technical resources to some 15,000 people sheltered from raging fires in San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium.

Wildfires in Southern California have destroyed some 2,200 structures since Sunday. The flames burned through 431,000 acres, reaching from Ventura County in the north down to the U.S.-Mexican border. Though the strong Santa Ana winds and high temperatures that helped the fires to spread this week have died down, several blazes are not yet contained.

Catholic Charities reported that the agency also organized diocesan priests to provide spiritual and emotional care at the stadium. These and other aid efforts are being donated by the Catholic Charities organizations of California.

“Catholic Charities USA’s Office of Disaster Response is working closely with local agencies to ensure that our network has the tools and resources it needs to respond to the fires,” said Kim Burgo, director of disaster response.

Catholic Charities USA, which has been commissioned by the U.S. bishops to represent the Catholic community in times of domestic disaster, responds with emergency and long-term assistance as needed. Its Disaster Response Office connects the Church’s social service agencies and disaster planning offices across the nation.