Facebook, Apple, Google Pledge Millions to Wine Country Fire Relief - NBC Bay Area
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Facebook, Apple, Google Pledge Millions to Wine Country Fire Relief

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    Flames fed by a gas line burn in the debris of a fire-ravaged home, Oct. 10, 2017, in Napa, Calif.

    Amid a series of deadly blazes ravaging Northern California, the nation's leading technology companies  — including Google, Apple and Facebook — have pledged more than $2.5 million combined to help fire relief efforts. 

    All companies have headquarters in the Bay Area. 

    Facebook, which has a history of donating to disaster relief funds, announced on Tuesday that it would be donating $1 million to local nonprofits, including the Community Foundation of Sonoma County. Additional recipients have yet to be announced. 

    "I'm thinking of all our neighbors in harm's way and I hope everyone stays safe," CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post announcing the donation. 

    Along with other social networks, Menlo Park-based Facebook has become a hub for people to share their stories in the aftermath of the raging fires, which overtook densely-populated suburbs within Santa Rosa and flattened neighborhoods across the Northern Bay Area. 

    At least 20 people have perished in the spate of fires, while hundreds more remain missing or unaccounted for in Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Lake, Nevada, Butte, Calaveras, Shasta, and Yuba counties.

    Aerial Views of North Bay WildfiresAerial Views of North Bay Wildfires

    Users have been marking themselves safe using Facebook's Safety Check feature, while more than 3,000 people offered help on community message boards, according to the company. Site users thanked Zuckerberg for the site's feature on his most recent post, crediting Facebook with helping families connect during tragedies. 

    Others implored him to continue his philanthropic efforts outside of the U.S. 

    "Please carry out more campaigns that encourage people to help other poorer countries, such as Mexico, for example, affected by environmental or other disasters at war," wrote Facebook user Leila Barbosa. 

    The entrepreneur, whose company donated $1.5 million to hurricane relief in Puerto Rico, came under fire for what many called an insensitive "virtual reality tour" through the flood-wrecked island. He has since apologized. 

    Meanwhile, Apple also pledged $1 million to fire relief efforts. The Cupertino-based company also plans to match employee donations two-for-one.

    "Our thoughts are with our Bay Area friends & neighbors affected by wildfires," CEO Tim Cook Tweeted, warning people to "stay safe."

    Apple did not say which nonprofits would benefit from the donations.

    Google representatives said that the company would also be contributing to relief efforts across California with a $500,000 donation. The Mountain View-based company will be working with its longtime partner, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, to distribute money to local nonprofits. 


    Contact Gillian Edevane through email at gillian.edevane@nbcuni.com. You can also provide feedback by texting or calling her at 669-263-2895, or following her on Twitter at @GillianNBC.