As the Camp Fire continues to burn across Butte County, we wanted to take a moment to provide our members with a brief update.
State officials have declared this to be the deadliest and more destructive wildfire in California history, with many once-beautiful communities now reduced to rubble. Our deepest sympathies go out to everyone who has suffered loss, and especially the hundreds of IBEW 1245 brothers and sisters who live and work in the fire zone.
At this time, we have not been made aware of any serious injuries or fatalities involving Local 1245 members, but we do know of at least 70 members — including at least 54 employed by PG&E, 11 who work at public sector properties, and five employed by tree trimming companies — who have lost their homes and all their belongings in the Camp Fire. Dozens more are still evacuated and do not yet know the status of their homes, but we expect that we will be getting more reports of property loss in the coming days.
The union has started a relief fund to assist these members as they endeavor to begin the long and arduous task of rebuilding their lives. Please donate what you can at https://www.gofundme.com/ibew-1245-camp-fire-relief-fund or by clicking the button below. Every dollar that we collect will be given directly to the IBEW 1245 members who have been permanently displaced from their homes by the fire. Local 1245 members at PG&E can also voluntarily sell up to 40 hours of vacation, with the proceeds going to either the North Valley Community Foundation Camp Fire Relief Fund, or directly to PG&E employees and retirees who suffered damage to their homes (administered via the PSEA Emergency Assistance Fund). We invite members to submit other suggestions for fundraisers to RGB1@ibew1245.com.
We also want to commend the many dedicated 1245 members who, despite the loss and devastation surrounding them on all sides, continue to work tirelessly in the fire zone in exceptionally difficult and hazardous conditions. Their primary goal at this time is to make the area safe, and ensure that those who are eventually able to return home will have access to gas and electric service. Local 1245 has union staffers on the ground in Butte to assist members as issues arise.
Rebuilding this area will likely take months, if not years, and we know that our members will continue to do all that they can to help restore some semblance of normalcy in the communities that are wracked with destruction and grief, even as many of them grapple with their own heartache and loss.
We will continue to provide periodic updates and reports from 1245 members in the coming weeks as more information becomes available. We invite you to join us in sending our brothers and sisters strength during this gut-wrenching time.