CHICO (CBS13) — As the Camp Fire continues to burn in Butte County, many people outside of the disaster zone are looking for ways to help those affected by the devastation. But officials with Caring Choices, the organization responsible for approving volunteer applications and placing volunteers, said there has been a “persistent threat of misunderstanding the volunteer process.”

The organization said this misunderstanding is taking away attention from the pressing needs of the victims.

Primarily, Caring Choices said volunteers cannot show up to an evacuation center or animal shelter unless they have completed the volunteer process.

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Volunteers who want to help are required to submit a volunteer application on the Caring Choices website before being given an assignment.

Additionally, Caring Choices said physical donations are not being accepted at the Chico Animal Shelter. While the organization recognizes the want to help, the shelter is overflowing with donations and cannot accept any more.

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According to the organization’s website, only licensed medical personnel volunteers are being accepted at this time. The form for licensed medical professionals can be found here.

Other volunteers will be needed in the weeks and months following this disaster. The website urges those who want to volunteer or who have already applied to volunteer but have not heard back from Caring Choices to be patient. Caring Choices will get back to volunteers as the need arises.

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