Department News

Department News

Donate: Response and Relief Fundraising for Wildfires in Karuk Aboriginal Territory

October 2, 2020

Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to those who have lost loved ones or homes or have been evacuated or otherwise impacted by the fires burning across the Western United States. In Karuk Aboriginal Territory, the Slater/Devil Fires have had devastating impacts, burning over 150,000 acres and 150 homes, killing two people and displacing many Karuk Tribal members. They triggered widespread evacuations and led to very hazardous air quality conditions for multiple days in a row. The Red Salmon Complex has burned over 120,000 acres on the other end of Karuk Territory. Both fire complexes are still active as of this publication. Many KDNR colleagues and other community members have been working day and night to provide on-the-ground support, including distributing food, clothing, supplies and providing shelter to the Happy Camp community and those individuals and families impacted by the fires. For additional timely updates on the status of the fires, contact and visit the YouTube channel “August Complex Fire 2020.”

Call to Action In solidarity with the affected communities, we are lifting up the Karuk Tribe-Slater Fire Relief fund which supports locally-driven relief efforts to shelter, feed, and rehome those who have lost homes, to provide clean-up supplies, N95 masks, and air purifiers, and to procure and distribute other resources & supplies to support ongoing rebuilding and structure protection activities. 

If you are able, please donate and soon! Any amount matters.

Call to Understanding Given the devastation being wrought by these catastrophic fires, we want to draw attention to the importance of Indigenous fire stewardship and Karuk leadership around the use of fire as a management tool. KDNR director, Bill Tripp, recently published this excellent piece in the Guardian about how Indigenous knowledge and cultural fire stewardship are critical in preventing and mitigating catastrophic mega-fires (also read the conversation below with Bill, special for this newsletter). KDNR leads the Western Klamath Restoration Partnership (WKRP), a consortium of Tribal, federal, state, and non-governmental organizations and landowners committed to maintaining resilient Klamath ecosystems, communities and economies. The WKRP combines cutting-edge fire ecology and forest management techniques with Karuk Indigenous Ecological knowledge and management practices to pilot the implementation and monitoring of prescribed burning and fuels treatments designed to benefit cultural foods and fibers, wildlife habitat, and community wildfire protection.  
From Klamath Tribal Food Security News, Summer, 2020