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As firefighters continued to battle the massive Southern California Hill and Woolsey fires that have killed two people, driven a quarter-million from their homes and left an unknown number homeless, the Actors Fund, SAG-AFTRA Foundation and SAG-AFTRA Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund have activated disaster relief.
And despite the name, the Actors Fund assistance is available to a wide range of industry workers. The organization’s slogan tells the story: “The Actors Fund, for everyone in entertainment.” The fund is administering its own monies and also those of the two SAG-AFTRA affiliates.
“Within the past 24 hours we began rolling out the activation of this fund,” foundation executive director Cyd Wilson said. “The relief fund … [will] be administered on the ground by the Actors Fund social workers.”
The Woolsey Fire has burned 83,000 acres in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, including Malibu, and has destroyed 177 structures. On Sunday, the blaze was only 10 percent contained.
Another entertainment industry welfare institution, the Motion Picture and Television Fund’s retirement home, is actually located in Woodland Hills near the evacuation zone, but is in no immediate danger of fire or evacuation, according to a spokesman.
“LA Fire Department confirmed that MPTF Wasserman campus is not under threat by recent flareups,” says the organization’s website, updated Sunday afternoon. “Los Angeles Fire Dept. and Los Angeles Police Dept. continue to advise us to shelter in place. In the event of additional fire threats, LAPD and LAFD have plans and resources in place to surround and defend the campus.”
Meanwhile, the Actors Fund had no data yet on the number of people requesting assistance. Those who need aid can find contact information and an online application at actorsfund.org/am-i-eligible-help.
Says the webpage, “Whether you work on stage or on camera, behind the scenes or below the line, you can contact The Actors Fund for support.”
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