Oak Fire: Counseling support available for Mariposa County

Amanda Aguilar Image
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
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Mariposa County residents continue to deal with the aftermath of the Oak Fire, which ignited almost two weeks ago.

MARIPOSA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Mariposa County residents continue to deal with the aftermath of the Oak Fire, which ignited almost two weeks ago.

The county's Health and Human Services Agency is taking action to prioritize residents' mental health needs.

Some residents are still under evacuation orders. Others are returning to an untouched home, or one that's been reduced to rubble.

"The whole community has a heightened level of stress," explained public information officer Lizz Darcy. "Anything we can do to help relieve that helps support the community -- either as they're supporting others or supporting them in supporting themselves."

Mariposa County recognized that residents, whether they've been directly impacted by the wildfire or not, are probably feeling a wide range of emotions after experiencing a natural disaster.

"Some individuals may just be stressed about having been evacuated and coming back. Some may be stressed about having to regain power, clean out their fridge, deal with those things. Then some individuals have lost their homes and just need to speak to someone," Darcy said.

The county's behavioral health team is offering free counseling services. It can be done virtually or in-person. The team will also be at the Local Assistance Center (LAC) at Mariposa County High School through Wednesday.

Liz Darcy said she hopes the resource provides residents the comfort and support they need to recover from this tragedy.

"We talk about being Mariposa strong, especially during emergencies and disasters, and part of that strength is taking care of yourself too," she said.

If you or someone you know is interested in counseling support, call (209) 742-0802. Appointments are available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The 24-hour crisis team is also available by calling (209) 966-7000.

For the latest developments, photos and videos on the Oak Fire, click here.