Sonoma County Fires Contained by Wednesday
Farewell and Thanks to our Firefighters
At its peak Thursday, 5,422 firefighting personnel were assigned to the firefight in Sonoma County. Even our volunteer North Coast Firefighters gave their all to saving people while for some their own homes burned to the ground. Later Thursday evening a quarter-inch of rain gave aid to their efforts.
Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean explained about 1,000 firefighters have been released from the incident. There are also about 2,500 national guard units deployed to the area, he said.
The “demobilization” process will intensify in the coming days as firefighters from 78 different agencies wrap up their work and resources are needed down south, said Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean.
Many Able to Return to Properties
We too, watched with great concern as the fires crept dangerously close to our home in Windsor. Thankfully though, the firefighters were able to manage it’s pending onslaught. By lighting a controlled backfire they stopped it in its tracks.
An evacuation map for Sonoma County, available at https://tinyurl.com/centrallnuevacs, shows current evacuated addresses.
Important Facts About Sonoma and Sonoma County Fires
- Sonoma County is large – more than 1 million acres in size. More than 90 percent of Sonoma County isn’t affected by the recent fires.
- The majority of Sonoma County hospitality businesses remain open, see www.sonomacounty.com.
- 2017 winegrape harvest was 90 percent complete at the onset of the fires. The crushed grapes and their juice crushed fill the tanks.
- Close to 98 percent of Sonoma County’s wineries were not affected by the fires.
- Many events throughout Sonoma County are happening as planned. Find out more at www.sonomacounty.com/events.
Sonoma County Fires and The Sea Ranch
The Sonoma County fires indirectly affected Sea Ranch. Road closures, heavy smoke and evacuees seeking refuge over the last weeks have impacted our small community. I am so very proud at how the Mendonoma region stepped up to offer a helping hand and comfort.
Below is important information for those of you planning a vacation trip to The Sea Ranch in the next few days.
Traffic Congestion Due to Drivers Viewing Damage Caused by Sonoma County Fires
CHP reported traffic was heavy throughout the day on Highway 101 in north Santa Rosa. Many motorists slowed to view the damage caused by the Sonoma County fires.
More than 30 road closures remain in effect throughout charred areas, including many roads off Highway 12. For information on closures, go to roadconditions.sonoma-county.org.
Outdoor Burning Banned
CalFire suspended all outdoor burning, permitted or not, until further notice in State Responsibility Areas. Those areas include Sonoma, Lake and Napa Counties. The Sea Ranch is within a State Responsibility Area.
Abalone Bay provides our guests with a propane barbecue so you are not directly affected by this ban. However, if you plan to do some camping or are visiting another home you need to be aware of the burn suspension details.
The burn suspension includes campfires (except within organized campgrounds when facilities exist to keep the fire fully contained), warming fires including beach fires, and ceremonial fires. However, CalFire permits fires contained in a device intended and designed for such use.
When you do outdoor cooking make sure properly secure your devices and properly dispose the coals when the cooking is complete.
Remember you could face financial responsibility for any fire over which you lose control.
Housing Opportunities for Those Displaced by Wildfires
As you know, the recent wildfires destroyed thousands of homes throughout Sonoma County. The devastating fires of the last several days have made the Sonoma County housing situation worse. Sonoma County alone has lost at least 5% of its housing stock. The fires have not discriminated, taking working class to high end housing and leaving ashes of many people’s lives.As a result, many people were in need of short or long term housing.
Housing in Sea Ranch
Sonoma County has established a central registry of available rental units for those who lost their homes. Meanwhile, The Sea Ranch Association continues to cooperate with the County to identify properties in our community that might be available for rent either through individual members or the various property management companies.
How You Can Help In Housing
Sonoma County has been struggling with a housing shortage and the devastating fires of the last several days have made the situation worse. Sonoma County alone has lost at least 5% of its housing stock. The fires have not discriminated, taking working class to high end housing and leaving ashes of many people’s lives.
This local area housing crisis affects our neighbors, our workforce, as well as our hospitality and tourism trade. Remember that a community without housing and employees will not thrive any more than a community without jobs.
If you can participate in the rehousing effort by offering you second home, vacation rental, granny unit, unauthorized unit or other “housing” for 6 months or more, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org of Sonoma County Lodging Association with the following information.
- Property address
- Number of Bedrooms
- Number of Baths
- Lease limit (Maximum # of months available)
- Lease per month
- Contact Name
- Phone Number
- Contact email
- Website if available
Your Thoughts, Your Celebrations
We’d love to hear from you how the Sonoma County fires, and those of our neighboring counties impacted you. What are some of the things that you have done to assist others? Do you know of other verified charities, or special requests made of those struggling to make a new life?
Let us know of the incidents in your neighborhoods that we can celebrate together. In what other ways are you supporting those in need as a result of the fires? Please share your thoughts, and celebrations in the comments below.
We also invite you to share this post with your social media contacts, your friends, and family.