The San Diego Foundation activated its Regional Disaster Fund Tuesday to collect and manage charitable funds for response and recovery from the Valley Fire currently burning in East San Diego County.

The fund will receive donations and make grants to nonprofit organizations engaged in disaster response, recovery and rebuilding. Grants will be based on a community needs assessment that uses third party data, research and analysis to determine where the greatest needs are within the impacted area.

“When disaster strikes, San Diegans always come together and rally around those in need,” San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob said. “The Valley Fire is hitting our region hard, tearing though communities. I appreciate the San Diego Foundation quickly establishing a relief fund for those that have suffered losses in the fire.”

The Valley Fire erupted for unknown reasons early Saturday afternoon off Spirit Trail in Japatul Valley, according to Cal Fire. It has burned for days in Japatul Valley, Carveacre, Lawson Valley, Wood Valley, Lyons Valley and Deer Horn Valley southeast of Alpine. As of Tuesday, the flames had spread over an estimated 17,345 acres and destroyed at least 11 residences and 25 outbuildings, the state agency reported.

The Regional Disaster Fund has served as a community resource for recovery efforts during the aftermath of the 2003, 2007 and 2017 wildfires, when more than $13 million was cumulatively raised and granted to organizations helping survivors.

“These are the moments when San Diegans show their resilience and generosity,” said Mark Stuart, president and CEO of The San Diego Foundation. “As our region faces crises on multiple fronts, with your help the San Diego Regional Disaster Fund will remain a vital resource for survivors.”

Established in 2003, the Regional Disaster Fund was created to prepare for regional crises and make grants to nonprofit organizations that provide relief to those impacted during and after a disaster. It funds grants to nonprofit organizations and not directly to individuals or families.

Donations can be made online at

— City News Service

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