Community Update for August 23, 2020

Posted on August 23, 2020


Good Afternoon, Petaluma –

There has been a lot of activity related to the Walbridge Fire(which is part of the larger LNU or Lightening Complex Fires in Napa, Sonoma, and Solano counties) and we want to make sure you are informed. While there is not a fire threat to Petaluma at this time, we are busy providing support to our neighbors to the North. Yesterday, the County opened a Temporary Evacuation Point (TEP) in Petaluma as well as an evacuation site for large animals at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds in Petaluma.

NOTE: As of late this afternoon the Petaluma Temporary Evacuation Point (TEP) has been closed, but placed on standby.

Evacuees in need of shelter support are encouraged to go to one of two centralized, staffed Temporary Evacuation Points, including one located at the Petaluma Veterans Building, 1094 Petaluma Boulevard South, Petaluma CA 94952. Staff at the TEP will direct evacuees to the appropriate shelter for their situation, including congregate shelters, RV parking, hotels and motels, and places to stay, including places that are accommodating family pets. Staff can also recommend other community resources that can be helpful during the evacuation.

All people are welcome, at the Temporary Evacuation Sites, including individuals that are COVID-19 positive. Everyone is reminded to wear masks and maintain social distance. Pets can also be accommodated. For more information on Evacuation Centers, click here.

The City is also continuing to provide support to regional efforts to contain the fire, assist the Sheriff’s department, and protect our Police and Fire personnel.

In this brief update, we’ll share important news about the status of the fire, weather reports, and emergency warnings. We’ll also review the emergency preparedness info we shared yesterday and provide links to information about air quality.

We will get through this together. Please stay safe!

*Wondering why you’re receiving this? Read about our new community

SONOMA COUNTY FIRE UPDATE

Walbridge Fire

The Walbridge Fire (merged with Stewarts), West of Healdsburg, is currently covering 51,072 acres and is 0% contained. The Walbridge Fire is the top priority in the massive complex of lightning-sparked fires burning across six counties. Resources have been coming in from out of the area to help contain the fire, including a converted 747 Global Supertanker, the largest aerial firefighting air tanker in the world.

Meyers Fire

The Meyers Fire, North of Jenner, is currently covering 2,360 acres and is 70% contained

At this time, there is currently no threat of fire to Petaluma. But we know from experience that things can change very quickly, so it’s important to stay informed. Check the following resources below frequently:

CARE & SHELTER STRATEGY

Petaluma served as a safe haven for evacuees in 2017 and 2019 wildfires. Community members volunteered countless hours and donated food, clothing, and other necessities to ensure evacuees were sheltered and cared for, Petaluma-style.

We anticipate being called upon to assist our evacuated neighbors. But the task of providing care and shelter to evacuees this year–in the era of Covid-19–will look very different than it did in previous years. As has been reported in the Press-Democrat, the County is adopting a strategy in which residents are quickly referred to hotels, motels, RV parking, and even campsites, depending on needs.

With that in mind, the City is working closely with Petaluma People Services Center, the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds, and several Petaluma faith-based organizations to ensure that we are all ready if and when we are called.

If you would like to help, please, please fill out volunteer form.

WEATHER REPORT

Please be aware of a Red Flag Warning that was issued by the National Weather Service for Sunday, August 23rd, at 5 AM, through Monday, August 24th, at 5 PM. For more information visit

weather.gov/bayarea.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

As we navigate through this fire season, being prepared is an essential piece of keeping your loved ones, and your pets safe. Please follow the advice below from the County of Sonoma.

Don’t Hesitate to Evacuate

  1. If you receive an evacuation order, LEAVE, then figure out where to stay.
  2. While updating your emergency plans, identify 2-3 places out of the area to stay.
  3. Rest assured, shelters will have COVID-19 screening in place.
  4. .Include masks and hand sanitizer in your go-bag.

Be Safe and Alert!

Please be prepared and have a go-bag ready, including:

  • Masks and hand sanitizer
  • Food and water
  • Flashlights
  • Phone chargers
  • Medical Supplies
  • Important Personal Documents
  • Cash

Also, fill up your gas tanks, and identify a few locations out of the area you can stay if evacuated. For a full list of go-bag essentials, click here.

CITY EMERGENCY WARNINGS

If there is a potential threat to the City of Petaluma, residents will receive a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA). As this is a notification that you do not to sign up for, many of you may have already seen this type of alert before as it commonly used for AMBER alerts. We would also encourage you to sign up for SoCo Alerts if you have not already done so. For more information about WEAs, please see below:

What is WEA?

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) is a nation-wide system providing lifesaving information for the State of California. WEAs are used to send concise, text-like messages in English and Spanish to WEA-capable mobile devices during emergency situations. WEAs are sent by your state and local public safety officials, the National Weather Service, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the President of the United States.

Types of Alerts

Presidential

Alerts issued by the President or a designee during a national emergency.

Imminent Threat

Alerts issued when an imminent threat to life or property exists in your area, including severe human-made or natural disasters such as earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, and tornadoes.

AMBER

Alerts issued to help law enforcement search for and locate an abducted child.

For more information on this system, visit click here.

Help Get the Word Out

Please share this information – online or by phone, of course – with anyone you

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