BUELLTON, Calif. - For local country artist Dylan Ortega, the Thomas Fire and Montecito mudslide hit close to home.
"Just seeing all the devastation is really hard to watch because a lot of my family lives down there. I actually have a cousin of mine whose been stranded at his home for I think four, five days now - his food is diminishing and so they just got out today so it really hits home for sure," Ortega said.
So he decided to do something about it, organizing his "Fight the Fire" event alongside several community partners.
"Rooney's Irish Pub donated 100 percent of the food, none of the vendors that were here took a cut for themselves - they donated 100 percent of their profits back to the fundraiser," said Ortega.
Even the location had ties to the fire and mudslide. Lydia Thomas from Flying Flags RV Resort and Campground says evacuees have been staying here for several days.
"We actually had a lot of folks that were able to come and participate which was awesome and then we had some that have just been kind of overwhelmed and stayed put at their sites but they were happy to hear what we were doing," Thomas explained.
Together, this event helped raise $90,000 for the United Way of Ventura County, money that will greatly help those in need.
While putting together the event took countless hours of work, Ortega hopes this shows people that they can always find ways to help in their own way. "It just takes one good idea and a couple people to execute that and a great community like the Santa Ynez Valley and all the neighboring communities actually have been willing to help with this so it's awesome to see the outreach."
Dylan is hoping to reach $100,000 in donations by the end of the month. Click here for more information.