Automotive industry professional Rahim Hassanally reflects on support for those impacted by last year’s devastating California wildfires.
Last year’s wildfire season was the deadliest and most destructive on record in California. A respected local businessman and award-winning automotive industry professional, Rahim Hassanally offers a closer look at the Golden State’s devastating 2018 wildfires and reflects on his support for those affected.
“During last year’s devastating California wildfires, upwards of 8,500 separate fires destroyed a total area covering more than 1.8 million acres,” reveals Hassanally.
This, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and the National Interagency Fire Center, represented the largest area of burned acreage ever recorded in a California fire season. Costs including damage caused by and tied to last year’s California wildfires, as per latest reports, have since topped $3.5 billion, with almost $1.8 billion spent on fire suppression costs at the time.
As the fires worsened, Hassanally was quick to donate generously to rescue and aid efforts, and to offer his support to those impacted by what had now been officially declared a national disaster. “Hardest of all to witness was the round of large, destructive fires aggravated by strong winds late last year, which ultimately included the Woolsey Fire and the Camp Fire, and which cost the lives of dozens of California residents,” explains the automotive industry professional.
From an increase in dead tree fuel to dangerous atmospheric conditions and ever-increasing residential construction projects taking place in areas most susceptible to wildfires, it’s important, says Hassanally, that wildfire risks are both appreciated and understood. “It’s also vital,” he adds, “that, as a nation, we pledge as much support as possible to critical disaster relief and aid efforts whenever or wherever such support is needed or otherwise called for.”
Hassanally has also previously contributed toward a number of other local, national, and international aid and relief efforts following various natural disasters, including Typhoon Haiyan which hit the Philippines in 2013. “After seeing the devastation caused in the Philippines by deadly Typhoon Haiyan, I remember thinking to myself, ‘We need to take action,'” he recalls.
Along with fellow local automotive industry colleagues, Hassanally and others quickly rallied support, raising more than $5,000 for relief efforts in a little over two weeks. The impressive total later exceeded $6,000, with all funds promptly donated to the relevant aid agencies as a priority.
Back in California, meanwhile, Hassanally is also a keen supporter of his local air force base and various homeless shelters including the Solano Mission.
Rahim Hassanally is a Governor of California appointed Department of Motor Vehicles New Motor Vehicle Board member, a member of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers, and a board member of the American International Automobile Dealers Association. An accomplished sportsman, a keen advocate for breast cancer awareness, and a supporter of a wide variety of nonprofit organizations, charities, and other good causes, Texas-native Hassanally’s professional accolades include making the Automotive News ‘Top 40 Under 40’ list and receiving recognition as the 18th annual Urban Wheel Awards ‘Urban Dealer of the Year.’