Educators Devastated by Fires Ravaging Northern and Southern California, Working Together to Support Colleagues, Students and Families

BURLINGAME California Teachers Association President Eric C. Heins issued the following statement today regarding the devastating Camp Fire in Butte County and the Woolsey Fire in Ventura County:

“These destructive fires are turning lives upside down. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and communities living this nightmare. The fires have claimed lives, destroyed homes, schools and hospitals. I know many educators, students, families and friends are threatened and are being evacuated or have already fled their homes. Right now, our number one job is to make sure everyone is safe.

CTA members are working with school districts and community partners to provide whatever help and resources they can. Local teacher leaders are helping to account for educators, students and families, connecting them with housing when needed. In these devastating times, I am proud and gratified to see the outpouring of support from the entire community. We’re also grateful to our union brothers and sisters, the firefighters and first responders, who are battling these blazes and providing medical care. Although this is frightening, I know we will land on our feet because we have each other, and because of our collective strength and good will.

Heins made his statement while he and his family packed up belongings and were being evacuated from their southern California home.

In northern California, the Camp Fire has destroyed at least five of the nine schools in Paradise and many educators have lost their homes. CTA’s Disaster Relief Fund provides assistance to educators who have had homes or schools damaged by wildfires. In the last three months, CTA Disaster Grants have paid out more than $187,000 to support educators, their families and students.  For more information, please visit

The CTA Chico Regional Resource Center at 1430 East Avenue #1 in Chico will be open all day Tuesday to aid area educators, including help with donations and filling out Disaster Grant forms. CTA leaders and staff are also stepping up to raise funds for victims. Donations for Paradise area teachers can be made through a special GoFundMe account.  The direct link to that account can be found here

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