Local Red Cross volunteers aid California wildfire victims

Iconic Serra Cross in Ventura standing tall after area ravaged by Thomas Fire

Iconic Serra Cross in Ventura standing tall after area ravaged by Thomas Fire

A Red Cross volunteer from Molokai has been deployed to Southern California to assist with sheltering and mass care of victims of raging wildfires, the Hawaii Red Cross said Wednesday.

All told, so far in 2017, the American Red Cross has responded to 242 "significant" disasters, using a workforce of 52,000 employees and volunteers. Overnight Wednesday, nearly 430 people took refuge from the fires in seven Red Cross shelters.

Red Cross said more than 430 people spent the night in the shelters Tuesday.

Evacuation has been ordered for almost 27,000 people due to the wildfires, and about 240 people stayed in a shelter overnight Monday, according to officials. They hail from Vancouver and the Oregon communities of Salem, Mosier, Medford, Springfield, Beaverton, Astoria, Gold Beach, Oregon City and Keizer, according to Red Cross.

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Tom Shands, of Jamestown, Missouri, and Diana Sommer, from Columbia, have been certified to help with disasters like the wildfires.

Almost 200,000 people have been told to leave their homes in the areas around Ventura and Los Angeles.

The fires outside of Los Angeles have burned more than 50 thousand acres. Officials said unsafe conditions are expected to threaten the region for much of this week.

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