California's Tourism Industry Unites In Wake of Wildfires

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With the devastating California wildfires largely contained, the state’s tourism industry is coming together to support those who were impacted.

Visit California announced today that it is encouraging anyone who can provide support to the affected communities to visit its website www.VisitCalifornia.com/recovery where there are instructions and a link for making donations to help those on the ground.

Thanksgiving is usually a time to celebrate, a chance to reconnect with friends and family, and an opportunity for all of us to count our blessings,” states the Visit California website. “Due to California’s wildfires, however, many holiday gatherings will take on a somber note this year. The loss of life and property in some communities has been considerable, and our hearts go out to those who are suffering.”

As part of the statement issued today, the agency expressed gratitude for the state’s fire service, first responders and the many California communities that are banding together to support regions affected by the devastating fires.

“We are immensely thankful for the heroism of our first responders, and for everyone – across California and around the world – who has shown support for the state during this difficult time,” Visit California President & CEO Caroline Beteta said. “The Golden State’s unwavering spirit has been tested but not broken, in large thanks to the outpouring of California love.”

Visit California is also asking people to take to social media and share words of support, compassion, and gratitude this holiday season using the hashtag #CALove.

The Woolsey and Hill fires in Los Angeles and Ventura counties are now fully contained, according to the agency. In Northern California, the Camp Fire in Butte County is 70 percent contained and is no longer threatening population centers.

Sunset in Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles, California: (photo via Luckyphotographer/Dreamstime)

The Camp Fire, which began in mid-November, killed at least 79 people, according to NPR, and burned more than 151,000 acres. About 699 people remain unaccounted for in connection with the fires, and a total of 82 people died throughout the state since the fires began earlier this month (three of those fatalities were from the Woolsey Fire in Southern California.)

Air quality across the state is now improving and California’s gateway airports remain open with flights across the state operating normally. Major highways and travel corridors throughout the state are unaffected.

Despite the images that have been appearing on the nightly news, Visit California pointed out in its statement today that California is a vast state and most regions, including the city of Los Angeles, remain untouched and open for business.

“Visit California’s first concern is always the safety and well-being of California residents and visitors. We recommend that visitors planning trips to affected areas consult their tour operator or hotel directly for the latest information,” the agency added.

The latest information regarding the wildfires can be found at visit www.Calfire.ca.gov. In addition, Visit California is connecting travelers with the latest fire information through VisitCalifornia.com travel alerts and theWestCoastTravelFacts.org website.

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