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California fires scorch parts of Packers Rodgers', Matthews' hometowns

Posted at 10:10 PM, Nov 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-13 10:54:55-05

There are several Wisconsin ties to the deadly wildfires burning in California. It’s where several sports stars live and where Wisconsin volunteers are headed to help with evacuations and recovery.

Wisconsin Red Cross volunteers are already on the ground in California. Heading there this weekend. Patty Flowers, the Regional CEO of the Red Cross in Wisconsin says 4 volunteers are on the ground now, and more are likely to be sent this week.

Mental Health Manager Naomi Berkowitz from Milwaukee is helping both the evacuees and volunteers in the fire zones. Based in Ventura, she is working on the Woolsey Fire in Southern California.

“We still have a lot of people in shelters, a lot of people were evacuated. Some of them have lost their homes, some of them have no idea if their homes are affected or not,” said Berkowitz.

Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers grew up in Chico near Paradise where the Camp Fire is burning. The death toll from that fire is now at 42 people. Rodgers said he spent a lot of time in Paradise playing sports when he was younger.

“Hearing the stories of people running down the highways to avoid the fire. Knowing that people burned alive in their cars is heartbreaking for sure,” said Rodgers.

Linebacker Clay Matthews grew up in Agoura Hills and still lives nearby. His family home was evacuated Friday, along with his parents.

“I know there’s been a couple lives lost and a bunch of homes and structures burned down. Unfortunately, its one of those natural disasters that CA has to deal with and it’s truly unfortunate…For it to follow the shooting it seems our area can’t get a break right now,” said Matthews.