Local Man Part of Disaster Team That Provided Shelter to Fleeing Victims of Sonoma County Fires

Images from Sonoma Fires from Cdrt team

More frightening than any Halloween tale, the wildfires that swept across California this month left destroyed homes and battered lives behind. [All Photos by Emilee Schumann, Jenner Dangers Oncken, and Kanan Best who work for the Community and Disaster Response Team out of Sebastopol]

When wildfire raged out of control through Sonoma County cities this month, Kanan J Best, an Arcata man was there working with a non-profit called CDRT or Community and Disaster Response Team out of Sebastopol Ca.

Images from Sonoma Fires from Cdrt team

CDRT member working with the National Guard to set up an intake area for donations.

“We arrived at the Sebastopol Community Center at around 3:30 a.m. and started setting up,” he said describing the relief his organization provided beginning on October 9. “We had three trailers and hundreds of cots and started unloading. People started pouring in and soon we had to open up another building to house everyone. We started taking in donations and providing the evacuees with food, water, and every comfort we could.”

Images from Sonoma Fires from Cdrt team

Animals, as well as people, were provided a safe place to stay.

Later they were relocated to Analy High School and once again helped set up a shelter. “We ran the Donations and Logistics for the shelter for the entire week with a team of thirteen working seventeen hour days,” he told us.

Later, he and two others received permission to enter the burned neighborhoods. There they took photos of the devastation.

Images from Sonoma Fires from Cdrt team Images from Sonoma Fires from Cdrt team Images from Sonoma Fires from Cdrt teamImages from Sonoma Fires from Cdrt teamIn spite of the vast swaths of burned neighborhoods, there were signs of a community determined to survive. Images from Sonoma Fires from Cdrt team Images from Sonoma Fires from Cdrt team

If you would like to help Best and the CDRT team help others, here is a place to donate.

Images from Sonoma Fires from Cdrt team



  • Awesome!! What a great group, do we have a local chapter and if not how can we support to get one going?

    Thank u to the team and for the article!

  • All emergency response teams are/were outstanding. God bless you all.

  • I think it’s awesome what everybody is done to pull together for people in need. FYI there are people still down in Ukiah area from Redwood Valley that are without housing because they were renters and the Red Cross shelter I believe is closing today where they’re staying. One such person is a friend of mine who is currently battling brain cancer. If anyone’s interested in supporting them through their GoFundMe page let me know.

  • No body knows the heat I have felt.

    The Budda’s face shows the expression. How prophetic.

  • Thank you to all of those who have helped!

  • Good job, individual citizens pulling together and helping each other. Wonderful person.

    Doing what gov. moonbeam should be, should have been doing.

    We need better rep. for California to put tax dollars toward preventing and extinguishing California wildfires and helping these people.

    Historically there has been plenty of money to control California wildfires. Follow the money, our tax dollars, if our tax dollars aren’t prioritized toward preventing and extinguishing wildfires, then where are our tax dollars going, what are our tax dollars for.

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