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San Diego County Relief Agencies Assisting with Wildfires

Relief agencies around San Diego County were gearing up to help victims and first responders at a series of wildfires that broke out this week.

The Salvation Army said it deployed two mobile hydration units to serve water, electrolyte drinks, coffee and snacks to first responders and those impacted by the fires.

Dozens of volunteers, including short wave radio operators, are on notice that they may be needed at any time should the situation become worse and evacuations increase, according to the organization.

"Along with hydration and food, spiritual comfort is our priority," Lt. James Parks of the Escondido Salvation Army Corps Community Center said. "We appreciate all of our community volunteers and those who give so generously to help those impacted by the wildfires."

The Salvation Army is taking monetary donations online at sandiego.salvationarmy.org, or by phone at (800) 725-2769. The donors should specify that the money is designated for San Diego fire relief.

Donations can be mailed to The Salvation Army Divisional Headquarters, SD Fires, 2320 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101.

With the American Red Cross, San Diego chapter, already in action assisting evacuees, the chapter in Los Angeles plans to dispatch four emergency response vehicles to the region.

A group of Red Cross supervisors is also planning to come to San Diego for a one-week period.

County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk Ernest Dronenburg Jr. announced that property tax relief for homeowners whose property was damaged or destroyed.

He said affected properties will be reassessed, and the lower values will remain in effect until repairs or rebuilding are completed.

"More importantly, after the property is rebuilt or repaired, the owners can retain their previous taxable value if the property is built in a like or similar manner," Dronenburg said. "This means that the property tax assessment will not increase beyond what it was prior to the fire."

The program is available for homes, mobile homes, outbuildings and commercial or industrial properties. His office will mail applications to affected homeowners, he said.

For parents looking for activities with their children with so many schools out, the San Diego Museum of Art and Mingei Museum are offering free admission today. The Japanese Friendship Garden will be free for youth under 12 years old with a paid adult.

Read updates on the other San Diego County Wildfires here: Thursday San Diego County Firestorm Coverage.

— City News Service

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