Sonoma County Update on Multiple Fires
Update: October 13, 2017; 8:00 P.M.
SANTA ROSA, CA – Emergency response agencies throughout Sonoma County continue to fight numerous fires in the County. The County’s Emergency Operations Center remains active and is staffed around the clock.
CAL FIRE continues to release fire activity and containment information at approximately 7:00am and 7:00pm daily at fire.ca.gov. There are 19 confirmed fatalities from the emergency.
· Over 3,000 people are utilizing one of 21 open shelters. Current sheltering capacity is available to serve over 8,000 people.
· Latest Sheriff’s update informed that 1,485 people are reported missing. Of those, 1,250 were located, and 235 are still outstanding.
· Call 707-565-3856 to report a missing person. If you report a person missing and then locate them, please call the hotline again to report the person found.
· The Sheriff’s Office is unable to escort evacuees into evacuated zones due to the ongoing emergency response efforts.
· A local health emergency proclamation was declared Thursday by the Health Officer and Environmental Health Director. The proclamation allows emergency personnel entry onto private property for removal of waste that poses an imminent threat to public health and safety, such as propane tanks. The proclamation helps to protect the community’s health from unsafe handling and disposal of the fire debris.
· Sonoma County residents who suffered losses from the fires can now register for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), if they are able to do so. Register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone at 800-621-3362.
Please continue to be vigilant and ready to evacuate at any time. Ways you can prepare: have your medications ready to take with you, warm clothes and closed-toe shoes, keep your cell phone charger near you, gather your important paperwork, food and water, and keep a small amount of cash on hand. Locate your pets and bring a crate and pet food with you.
Mandatory evacuation information is available online at www.sonomacounty.ca.gov. Emergency responders are actively performing safety assessments of burned areas to determine when evacuation orders will be lifted. The Sheriff has ordered all residents to remain out of mandatory emergency evacuation areas. These areas are unsafe and it is illegal to enter mandatory evacuation areas.
Law enforcement will maintain a heavy presence in evacuated areas to assist people and protect property. All looters will be arrested.
Shelters are open throughout Sonoma County. An updated list can be found at http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/. Sonoma County has four evacuation centers with enhanced services, including Mental Health services. These include Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds, Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Elsie Allen High School, and the Santa Rosa Veterans Building. These centers have cots, blankets, sheets, towels, and other resources for evacuees. We are encouraging evacuees in need of sheltering to go to these evacuation centers first.
Shelters are not checking immigration status, however they may ask for identification. The purpose of this is to locate missing persons. Evacuees do not have to provide identification.
Returning to Evacuated Areas:
Sonoma County is coordinating with CAL FIRE to determine when it is safe to return to evacuate areas. While evacuation orders remain in effect, areas are unsafe. Do not enter a road that is closed or attempt to return to your home before evacuation orders are lifted. Entering these areas are dangerous and may result in injury and require emergency resources to be pulled away from responding to this emergency.
Residents can register that they are safe, and loved ones can look for someone who has registered themselves as safe on the American Red Cross sitehttps://safeandwell.org/. Call 707-565-3856 to report a missing person. If you report a person missing and then locate them, please call the hotline again to report the person found.
Power Outage Information:
PG&E is actively working to both restore power and gas where safe to do so and to de-activate power from some areas to assist with firefighting efforts. PG&E is restoring gas in Windsor today and in Santa Rosa tomorrow. Access to meters is critical in the gas restoration efforts. If your gas meter is behind a locked gate and you cannot be home to let a gas professional in, please call PG&E to let them know at 1-800-743-5000. To see areas with no power or to sign up for PG&E’s outage alerts visithttps://m.pge.com/#outages
If you smell or hear gas escaping inside your home or business, get everyone outside to a safe location away from the building and upwind where you can no longer smell natural gas. Once outside, use your phone to call 911 and PG&E at 1-800-743-5000. Do not use electrical switches, appliances or telephones, because sparks can ignite gas.
A number of local animal shelters are accepting small pets and large animals can be taken to Santa Rosa Fairgrounds, Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds, and the Cloverdale Citrus Fair. If you need sheltering for your large animals or have a shelter location please call Sonoma County Animal Services at 707-565-4648. If you are in need of supplies or have donations to give please call animal services. Animal Services added a group on Facebook so that community members can report lost and found animals.
Many healthcare agencies, including pharmacies, are operational in our county. In addition, during this emergency, pharmacies are authorized to refill prescriptions without renewed contact with your physician. In addition, for new health needs, we encourage people to contact their primary care provider. Available pharmacies can be found here:http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Public-Safety/News/Medication-Needs-During-This-Emergency/
Air quality will be variable while there are active fires in the region and shifting winds. Children, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions such as asthma, lung disease and heart disease are most impacted.
To decrease your exposure to wildfire smoke and to limit harmful effects from smoke follow these healthy habits:
· Limit your time outside and stay indoors as much as possible.
· If possible, seek shelter in buildings with filtered air OR move to areas outside the region less impacted by wildfire smoke until smoke levels subside.
· Keep your windows and doors closed unless it’s extremely hot outside. If you don’t have an air conditioner, staying inside with the windows closed may be dangerous in extremely hot weather. In these cases, seek alternative shelter.
· Run your home or car air conditioner on recycle or recirculate. Keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent bringing additional smoke inside.
Sonoma County has requested damage assessment teams to fully account for the number and types of damaged and destroyed structures. In the coming days we will be providing additional information for residents who have lost their homes or businesses.
Transportation and Roads:
Please continue to stay off the roads unless necessary, to allow access for public safety. If you need to drive, please proceed with caution. If you experience signal light outages, please proceed as a four-way stop. Sonoma County Transit services remain closed.
Sonoma County Department of Transportation and Public Works Road Conditions website at http://roadconditions.sonoma-county.org/. California Highway Patrol has additional information on roads at https://www.chp.ca.gov/traffic
The Sonoma County Water Agency continues to deliver drinking water to communities throughout the county. With the exception of boil water notices below, it is safe to drink and use tap water. Currently, systems are fully operational, and water production continues to meet firefighting demands. If you are experiencing low or no water pressure, please contact your local water utility.
Drinking Water Notices:
State Water Resources Control Board and local agencies have issued Boil Water notices and Do Not Drink Water notices.
The following notices were issued related to the recent Sonoma County fires:
· Boil Water Notice – residents are advised to use boiled tap water or bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes as a safety precaution
o City of Santa Rosa, Fountain Grove neighborhood, 2,500 connections
o City of Santa Rosa, Oakmont neighborhood, 64 connections
o End-O-Valley, Brush Creek neighborhood, Santa Rosa, 39 connections
o Lawndale Mutual Water Company, Kenwood, 66 connections
· Do Not Drink Water Notice - residents are advised to use bottled water for drinking and cooking
o California American Water, Larkfield 2,359 connections
o Kenwood Village Water Company, Kenwood, 307 connections
Volunteering and Donations:
The Sonoma County community has demonstrated great generosity with requests to donate goods. At this time, we ask you to wait for an assessment of need to be completed to determine what items are needed for donations. Instead, we recommend you give in one of the following ways:
· If you would like to volunteer with fire relief efforts, please contact the Sonoma County Volunteer Center at 707-573-3399.
· If you wish to make donations of food, the Redwood Empire Food Bank is accepting ready-to-eat, non-perishable foods for evacuation centers. These foods should be easy to open and easy to eat - many shelters do not have kitchens for heating and preparing food. Please do not bring glass containers. Deliver donated food to 3990 Brickway Blvd. between the hours 8am-8pm. They also need volunteers to help with food and are accepting financial donations as well. Sign up online athttp://refb.org/volunteer/.
· For financial donations, the Redwood Credit Union has established a North Bay Relief Fund, 100 percent of donations go to fire victims. Go towww.redwoodcu.org/northbayfirerelief to donate.
Many schools are closed this week. School closure information can be found at Sonoma County Office of Education website: http://www.scoe.org/
Courts are closed for the remainder of the week.
Mental Health Services:
Mental health services are available at the larger evacuation centers including Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds, Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Elsie Allen High School, and the Santa Rosa Veterans Building.
The Tolay Fall Festival at Tolay Lake Regional Park has been cancelled and all other previously scheduled Regional Park activities are on hold for the foreseeable future. Generally, Regional Parks east of Highway 101 are closed at this time while Regional Parks west of the highway are open.
Regional Parks on the Sonoma Coast have accommodated campers from fire evacuation zones by offering available sites on a first-come, first-serve basis and continue to do so. Campgrounds are projected to be full over the weekend. State Parks has opened its Sonoma Coast campsites to campers from evacuation zones:https://www.parks.ca.gov/NewsRelease/768. Neither the county nor state campgrounds are serving as evacuation shelters and are not equipped to serve people who lack camping gear and supplies.
Health Information Update:
Alzheimers Association is working on tracking all the long term care evacuations to assist family members who’s loved ones may have been evacuated and have these types of conditions. The Association has a 24-hour hotline at 1-800-272-3900
The Department of Health Services is keeping an updated list of open healthcare clinics throughout Sonoma County. The site is available for the public.
The Health Officer and Environmental Health Director issued an initial local health emergency proclamation for debris removal. The proclamation will be approved by the Board of Supervisors on October 17. Debris from burned buildings and homes can contain toxic substances due to the presence of synthetic and hazardous materials.
The Proclamation helps to protect public health and safety from unsafe handling and disposal of the fire debris. This effort allows entry onto private property for removal of waste that poses an imminent threat to public health and safety, such as propane tanks. The Public should not attempt to clean up fire related debris.
Where to go to get information:
· EOC Hotline: 707-565-3856 or call 2-1-1
· Sonoma County Website: http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Home/
· Sonoma County Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SonomaCountyCal
· Sonoma County Twitter: https://twitter.com/CountyofSonoma
· Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Nixle: https://local.nixle.com/sonoma-county-sheriffs-office/ or text your zip code to 888777
· SoCoAlert: Emergency officials use the SoCoAlert to deliver incident-specific information to precise geographic areas: SoCoAlert.com
· If you do not have access to the internet or a phone, we recommend you tune into local radio stations. Some local radio stations are: KZST 100.1, KCBS 740AM, KSRO 1350AM, KBBF 89.1 FM (Spanish radio station).