As wildfires continue to spread across Northern California, wreaking havoc and homelessness across the state, home-rental companies are providing f
As wildfires continue to spread across Northern California, wreaking havoc and homelessness across the state, home-rental companies are providing free housing to those in need.
Airbnb, the San Francisco-based vacation rental platform, is offering free housing to those fleeing the Northern California wildfires still burning across more than 200,000 acres east of San Jose.
The initiative is part of the company’s OpenHomes effort, which is encouraging Airbnb hosts to offer up their homes or spaces to those in need. Under the initiative, those in need of shelter can book a free room between Aug. 20 and through Sept. 10.
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Those evacuating impacted areas simply need answer a few questions regarding their situation and how many travelers are in their party, and Airbnb will provide information regarding open housing within 24 hours, according to Airbnb’s website.
The program has already been flooded with demand, per Airbnb. On Monday afternoon, Airbnb noted on its website that hosts “do not currently have emergency housing available” due to high demand. However, those in need can still request an invite, and will be notified when more housing becomes available in the coming days.
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The LNU Lightning Complex has burned 314,207 acres, according to Cal Fire, while the SCU Lightning Complex had burned 291,968 acres. Around 13,700 firefighters have worked to contain the wildfires and at least 10 states have sent in air or ground support.
The wildfires will likely continue for the next few days, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Chief Thom Porter warned.
“The worst is not behind us, we are in a battle rhythm. New lightning activity is expected across the state. Double your efforts, to look out for yourselves and each other!” he tweeted.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.