DART partners with Direct Relief to bring supplies
To bring much-needed supplies to the front lines of the wildfires in Oregon, pilots with the California Disaster Area Response Team are flying 100,000 KN95 masks and medical supplies from Santa Barbara to Eugene today.
A fleet of small airplanes took off from Santa Barbara Municipal Airport this morning as a part of relief efforts by CalDART in conjunction with Direct Relief headquarters in Goleta, the nation’s largest supplier of free donated medical supplies.
The widespread fires in the region made shipping delivery times unpredictable, so pilots from Santa Barbara Airport volunteered time in their private aircraft to bring the masks, medical supplies and relief workers to Oregon instead of commercial shipment.
The poor visibility in the bright orange skies from the smoke poses challenges for the pilots flying in, who must rely solely on their instruments. On top of the worst fires in recorded history, a Pacific Northwest storm is forecast for the weekend.
However, the local pilots are up to the task. Some of the planes flew directly out of Santa Barbara to Eugene, and others relayed the cargo by way of Northern California airports, including a logistics hub at Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport.
The flights were also conducted in coordination with Angel Flight West, a Los Angeles nonprofit that provides air transport for children and adults with serious medical conditions or other compelling needs. Volunteer pilots covered all the costs associated with operating their aircraft for the mission.
The front line workers in Oregon are up against more than a million acres of wildfires in the state, causing them to use up their masks and medical supplies at a rapid pace.
Pilots and firefighters hope the storm will provide much-needed moisture to the area.