north bay fires

KBBF and KRCB FM invite you to a free event to commemorate the days of last October when our community went through what was at that time the worst wildfire in California's history.

If you would like to tell your story of those days, please get in touch with us. We will have food, drinks and live music. The event starts at 6, but starting at 7 the event will be broadcast live by KBBF and also KRCB FM.

Don't miss the FREE event, commemorating the North Bay Fires of 2017.

Tuesday, October 2 from 6 pm - 8 pm at the Carpenter's Hall, 1706 Corby Avenue, Santa Rosa.

Mendocino Complex fires August 2, 2018
San Francisco Chronicle

Containment lines are growing around the Mendocino Complex Fires, but thousands of homes are still threatened. Firefighters are concerned because a red flag warning is in effect over part of the weekend.

Reporter Adia White spoke with Cal Fire's Public Information Officer Tricia Austin for an update.

Keep an eye on local fires with the San Francisco Chronicle's interactive fire tracker.

Efforts to put a rent control initiative on the November ballot have fallen short in Santa Rosa. Organizers did not gather a sufficient number of signatures from registered voters. Rent control was one of many subjects at a recent meeting of the Alliance for a Just, Equitable and Sustainable Recovery.

Reporter Adia White tells us more about the hopes of several speakers at the event, who believed that rent control might have helped residents who struggle to stay in the area after the recent wildfires.

Coffey Strong
Diane Askew

After the devastating October wildfires, communities across the North Bay are grappling with how to rebuild in a way that is fair, just and efficient.  Several community organizations, working under the umbrella of the Alliance for a Just, Equitable and Sustainable Recovery and Rebuild, hosted a meeting on July 19 to talk about using the reconstruction efforts to improve the lives of all North Bay residents.

Adia White
Steve Mencher / KRCB - Northern California Public Media

We've added a new, full-time reporter to the news department here at KRCB. Adia White comes to us from Chico, where she's covered local news, including California's deadly and unpredictable fires.

She tells us about what she'll be keeping an eye on in the coming months, in conversation with KRCB news director Steve Mencher.

Wendy Wheelwright
Steve Mencher / KRCB - North Bay Public Media

(Editor's note: This week, Kaiser Permanente announced a million dollar grant to keep the HOPE project going well into 2019. Our original story ran in June)  

Searching for the Gold Spot
Photo provided

Fires bring death and destruction, as anyone who has lived in Sonoma County can attest. But filmmaker Maya Khosla, whose documentary "Searching for the Gold Spot" plays on KRCB TV 22 August 7 at 9 p.m., discovered that fire also brings new life.

She spoke with KRCB news director Steve Mencher about the film and her related work as Sonoma County's poet laureate.

Watch the trailer for "Searching for the Gold Spot: The Wild After Wildfire"

Pregnant woman
Alick Sung via Flickr

Were you pregnant at the time of the fires, or are you currently pregnant with a due date no later than October 31, 2018? If the answer to either question is yes, then a study at UC Davis may be looking for you.

KRCB news director Steve Mencher talked with Rebecca Schmidt, assistant professor of public health sciences and the MIND Institute at UC Davis about the study.

Study participants must have been living or working in Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Solano, Sonoma or Yuba County in October 2017. They also must be:

Steve Mencher / KRCB - Northern California Public Media

Erin Brockovich was in town this week – she spoke at a breakfast organized by a couple of local law firms. They’re seeking to sign people up to sue PG&E for their suspected role in causing the October wildfires.

KRCB news director Steve Mencher went up to the home of lawyer Michael Fiumara where more than 100 people had come to see the woman who had become a superstar consumer advocate for suing PG&E for contaminating the water in the Southern California town of Hinckley.

Among those in the audience: Myke Judd.

Laurie Johnson
Photo provided

Yesterday we met Laurie Johnson, a specialist in disaster recovery. She was speaking at a meeting of SoCo Rises, a group committed to equitable recovery from October’s fires. She says she learned a lot from researching the aftermath of earthquakes that shook New Zealand in 2011, killing 185 people.

SOCO Rises
SOCO Rises

SoCo Rises is one of several groups active in the county’s recovery from last October’s fires. The group pulls together many constituents of the progressive community to consider rebuilding and resilience. The goal is to make sure nobody is left out of plans to build a new Sonoma County on the ashes of the old – both literally and figuratively.

Happy First Day of Summer, Said the Mosquito

Jun 21, 2018
Nizza Sequeira
Adia White

Happy first day of summer. Mosquitoes are expected to be worse than usual this season, and you may be surprised about how that is connected to October's wildfires. Adia White has a report.

Learn about controlling mosquitoes from the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District

Chris Smith
Santa Rosa Press Democrat

A few weeks ago, some of the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat travelled to New York City to accept the paper's award for its outstanding coverage of the North Bay wildfires. PD columnist Chris Smith visited our studio that day, and talked with Corey Hudson about the paper's pride in its achievement, and about the future of print journalism.

California Update for Thursday, June 14, 2018

Jun 14, 2018
Jeff Chiu / AP

• The fight over whether PG&E is liable for the wine country fires is ongoing. Cal Fire blames the utility for causing at least 16 of them.

Today's reporting by Ezra David Romero.

The former deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, weighs in. He's made more than a 20 trips to North Korea as an inspector.

That's on the next on All Things Considered from NPR News.

All Things Considered can be heard weekday afternoons from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm on KRCB-FM Radio 91 / streaming @ / Comcast channel 961 throughout the Bay Area / Download the FREE KRCB App @ iTunes & Google Play!

Steve Mencher / KRCB - North Bay Public Media

In the second part of our conversation with Wendy Wheelwright, she explains how the California HOPE program helps survivors and other community members heal after October's wildfires. Find more information about the program here.

Among other things, the program encourages people to

  • Eat Well
  • Move Daily
  • Hydrate Often
  • Sleep More
  • Love, Laugh, and Connect.

Advocates for non-English-speakers pose at Sonoma County offices
KRCB/Steve Mencher

Thursday, a group of activists met with Sonoma County’s disaster planning team.

They presented their findings that October’s fires had uncovered severe shortcomings in the county’s communication strategy. Those who couldn’t speak English, the group says, did not have the same access to life-saving information, especially in the chaotic first moments of the fire. Those problems have continued during the recovery.

News director Steve Mencher spoke with some members of the group who will be presenting recommendations June 11 to the county Board of Supervisors.

Ceremonies at first Coffey Park house in Santa Rosa to be given a certificate of occupancy after fire rebuilding
KRCB/Steve Mencher

The last week of May, a milestone was reached in Coffey Park – elected officials and neighbors gathered to celebrate the completion of Dan Bradford’s home – the first to gain a certificate of occupancy in the fire-devastated area.

KRCB News Director Steve Mencher was there as the festivities got underway.

combustible materials
UC Dept of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Wednesday is the final day of a three day meeting on the Sonoma State campus called Living with Fire in California’s Coast Ranges. Participants are taking part in field trips today to areas connected to the October fire storms. The first two days were packed with talks by experts from throughout California, and from other western states.

controlled burn
U.S. Army

Living with Fire in California’s Coast Ranges – that’s the title of a symposium at Sonoma State beginning Monday May 7. For three days, experts from throughout the West will converge on Rohnert Park and talk about fire in the region – its history, its impact, and ways we can mitigate the damage it causes during catastrophes like October’s Wine Country fires.

Terence Mulligan
J. Mateo Baker

Napa County may not have been hit as hard as Sonoma by the October fires, but the Napa Valley Community Foundation took lessons learned from the 2014 South Napa earthquake and moved quickly into action to aid its neighbors. On today’s North Bay Report, we continue the Fire Recovery Series by looking at how that recent disaster provided a template for fire recovery. J. Mateo Baker filed this report.

Redwood Valley North Bay fires

When the fires moved on the Redwood Valley Rancheria on October 8, eleven members of the Little River Band of Pomo Indians stayed behind to fight the flames. Reporter Sarah Reith was at the annual Northern Circle Indian Housing Authority meeting recently, where the men were honored. 

This story originally was heard on KZYX radio in a longer version.

Sarah Tan

With the removal of fire debris moving quickly toward a conclusion, we checked in with EPA official Steve Calanog, who’s been helping oversee the cleanup. He spoke with reporter Sujata Shrivastav.

U.S. Army Corps cleanup Coffey Park, Santa Rosa
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

In the wake of the October fires in Santa Rosa, residents of the Coffey Park neighborhood, which suffered devastating losses, have organized. The group Coffey Strong now numbers nearly 1000 residents who act collectively to pool information and save money.

Jeff Okrepkie represented the group on a recent edition of the KQED program Forum – with Michael Krasny.

James Gore
KRCB/Steve Mencher

From the Doubletree Sonoma Wine Country – we present highlights from the State of the County breakfast, presented by Sonoma County Economic Development Bureau.

The Black Sheep Brass Band kicked off the morning event.

Coffey Strong
Diane Askew

Coffey Park was the subject of a recent edition of KQED’s Forum program with Michael Krasny.  KRCB News Director Steve Mencher has some excerpts from the discussion…

Paradise Ridge Winery
Courtesy of Paradise Ridge website

A new study from the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State describes the effects of the North Bay fires on local vineyards and wineries and related parts of the North Coast wine industry. In addition to surveying stakeholders, the authors also crunched the first available statistics.

Honore Comfort is Executive in Residence at the institute, part of the SSU School of Business and Economics. She talked with KRCB News Director Steve Mencher about the study. 

Governor Jerry Brown

Thursday morning, KRCB presented Governor Jerry Brown’s last State of the State address. Born into politics, educated by Jesuits, Brown will stand, by any measure, as one of the most important leaders in California history. In Sonoma County, we were listening to hear what he’d say about the traumatic wildfire season – and that came early in the speech. KRCB News Director Steve Mencher listened along…

Supervisors seek public input to guide recovery efforts at three upcoming workshops

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors invites community members to attend and provide input to guide post-fire recovery efforts at three upcoming public workshops. Each workshop will focus on a different topic, including Housing, Natural Resources, Economic Development, Health and Human Services, and Infrastructure. 

Topic areas will be discussed on the following dates:  

Ray Krauss
KRCB/Steve Mencher

The meetings have a clever name – Conversations Around the Fire. The idea? That the recent wildfires might bring together people in the progressive community to work for change during these  post-fire months and years.