Butte County/North Complex West Zone/Bear Fire Update

**Check back often for organization updates, news coverage, and how to get involved**

How you can help right now:

– Click here to make a donation
Fundraise with us at www.okizu.org/100for100
Donate through Paypal here

(Don’t forget to submit your donations for a corporate match through your workplace if available!)

Want to help? Fill out our volunteer intake form here.

SHARE SHARE SHARE. Keep telling your stories and memories from Camp Okizu — they are powerful.

Check back often for updates. Thank you for your support!

***

Media coverage of North Complex West Zone fire impact on Camp Okizu:

ABC7 News
ABC10
CBS13
CNN
CNN Newsroom interview with Dr. Mike Amylon
KARE 11 NBC
KTVU
News Break
Oroville Mercury Register
Sacramento Bee
San Francisco Chronicle

Updates from Okizu

10/17
Drone video coverage of the damage done by the North Complex West Zone/Bear Fire to Camp Okizu. So many of you have been patiently waiting for updates from camp — “Stick” from our Site Committee put this together for everyone to see.

10/5 @ 12:00 PM

 

Dear Okizu Friends and Family,

As most of you probably know, Camp Okizu was significantly impacted by the Bear Fire/North Complex Fire last month and many of you have been patiently waiting for updates. It appears that one bathroom building and one cabin are still standing, but the rest of the buildings have been destroyed.

The loss of our camp is a loss that is shared by the entire Okizu community. We know that many of you and your children are grieving the loss of a space that holds cherished memories, that brought us together as a community, and that made us feel safe.

The first order of business is to get our insurance adjuster and other professionals up to camp to assess the damage. From there we can start to make a plan to clean up the site, which will take specialized work crews months to complete.

Rest assured, our programs won’t slow down at all!! We will continue to provide peer support and respite programs free of charge. 

Due to COVID, we aren’t sure when it will be safe to hold in-person programs, so we are building some really exciting and creative virtual programs for next year. And, as soon as it is safe to have in-person programs again, we can take advantage of opportunities to rent beautiful camps all around Northern California while our site is in recovery mode.

The road ahead is long but with the strength of our community, we will move forward. For those of you who would like to help, here are some things you can do right now:

– Support each other – Many kids, families, volunteers and supporters are feeling the loss of our beautiful camp. Check in with each other, follow us, and share on social media using #OkizuStrong.

– Share your Okizu stories – We would love to collect short videos from you talking about what Okizu means to you. So many of you are singing songs, creating collages and movies, and we want to see all of your creations! Click here to submit your video and other Okizu memories.  Don’t have Gmail? Email info at okizu.org to let us know you want to participate.

– Make a donation at www.okizu.org/donatenow and share our fundraising opportunities with everyone you know. Our 100 for 100 fundraising deadline has been extended to October 31 due to the incredible results our fundraisers are seeing! Visit www.okizu.org/100for100 to start fundraising today.

– Fill out this form letting us know that you want to help, and in what way you can help.

– Please know that we are committed to updating you and checking in as best as we can, and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate this challenge together.

– Please do not send us any physical items for camp. Thank you for thinking of us but we can’t accept physical items and don’t have the capacity to store them.

We are overwhelmed by the support, the donations, and the offers to help that we have been receiving from our Okizu family. We are extremely grateful and humbled by the strength of our community.

#OkizuStrong!

9/15 @ 12:00 PM

Update from Suzie Randall, Interim Executive Director:

To all of you who have reached out to us, posted on social media, sent donations, and held us in your hearts, thank you so much. In the past week we have received hundreds of heartwarming messages of support, generous offers to share your skills and services, and greatly needed donations. The Okizu family is the embodiment of resiliency and hope.

While we are heartbroken by the devastation caused by the Bear Fire, we are also encouraged and inspired by the strength, love, and kindness of our Okizu community. We have been humbled by the generous outpouring of support and the readiness to help with whatever is next.

To update you, we still have not been able to get up to see Camp Okizu in person. The Bear Fire is still burning in Butte County and it may be several weeks before we can get on site to begin the process of assessing where we are and outline next steps.

Our hearts are with our Berry Creek neighbors who have suffered tremendous loss and we have endless gratitude for the firefighters and first responders who support and protect our community. Please continue to hold them all in your thoughts.

For those of you who have so generously asked how you can help right now, here are a few things you can do today to make an immediate impact:

– Make a donation at www.okizu.org/match 
– Join us in fundraising at www.okizu.org/100for100  
– Share your stories about Okizu and spread the news
– Support and care for each other during this difficult time
– Check our website for news stories and updates and look out for announcements

So many of you have offered to help in the future and we hope to have lots of opportunities for you. A few things you can look for shortly include:

– A way to collect your information so that when the time comes, we can contact you
– Call to action for video, photo, and written testimonial submissions
– Design submissions for Okizu Strong gear

I would like to leave you with a quote from one of our campers:

“Aila’s diagnosis and treatment changed and shaped our lives forever, and Okizu was where we began and still intend to continue our healing as a family. Like others have said, #OkizuStrong. We are here for the longest haul. Put us to work.” 


9/9 @ 9:00 PM

Update from Suzie Randall, Interim Executive Director:

I know that many of you may have been following the Bear Fire in Butte County over the last few days. We are heartbroken to let you know that we were notified today that there has been significant fire damage to our beloved Camp Okizu at Berry Creek.

We don’t yet know the full extent of the damage, and once we can get up to camp we will know more. Our hearts are with all of our neighbors and everyone who has been impacted, and we are very grateful for the tireless work being done by the firefighters and first responders. We will be continuing with our virtual fall Family Camps as planned, and we are thankful to be able to bring our families together virtually, even in the face of this challenge.

Camp Okizu endures because of our extended family of campers, volunteers, and supporters. Our community is strong and resilient, and you inspire us to be, too. Regardless of the loss at Berry Creek, with your help Okizu will continue to support our community tomorrow and in the years ahead as we have for almost 40 years.

As we learn more, we will continue to keep you updated, to connect with you and to support you. In the meantime, please keep our Berry Creek neighbors, firefighters, and first responders in your thoughts and prayers.

9/9 @ 4:45 PM

Hi friends, we know everyone is still very worried about the safety of our beloved Camp Okizu as we all follow the Bear Fire in the news and on social media. At this time we are still waiting for official updates on the status of Camp Okizu. We will continue to post to social media/website as soon as information becomes available to us, and our goal is to update you twice daily. We appreciate and share your concern and love for our home away from home. 

9/9 @ 10:00 AM

Thank you all for your patience and messages of care and concern for Camp Okizu. The Bear Fire is burning in Butte County and Berry Creek is currently under evacuation. There is some fire damage in the area and we are monitoring things closely with the help of CalFire and the local Sheriff Department. We know everyone is worried, and there is still very little information available to us — please trust that we will update you as soon as we are able to do so. We are keeping our Berry Creek neighbors, firefighters, and first responders in our thoughts, and appreciate all of your support.