Community Update for June 19, 2024

Posted on June 19, 2024

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Hello, Petaluma — 

We’re coming to you this week with a special issue of our Community Update focused on fire and emergency preparedness. For many, the return of smoke in the skies this week has been a not-so-welcome reminder that fire season is upon us. Our hearts are with those impacted by the Point fire and other smaller fires in the area. 

Below you will find a variety of resources and tips to help you and your loved ones prepare. Please take some time to review the information and take some of the suggested steps. Fires are unpredictable and move quickly so a bit of planning ahead can go a long way should we find ourselves in harm’s way. It is especially critical that seniors and those with special needs or disabilities develop and implement their emergency plans.

To be clear, as of now,  Petaluma is in no immediate danger from the current fires. Please be aware of air quality using websites like or PurpleAir and plan your activities and outings accordingly.

Thank you, Petaluma, for working so hard to care for our community and one another. We’ll see you in your inboxes again next week with more information from your city government!




As we enter the drier months of the year, fires pose a very real threat to our safety here in Sonoma County. One thing you can do in Petaluma is remove dead vegetation from around your home to create a “defensible space” that will improve a structure’s chance of surviving a wildfire — and help fire from spreading from open space areas to homes and other buildings. 

The City of Petaluma is hosting a free Community Wood Chipper program this summer to help residents clear flammable vegetation from your property. The program is based on a “you cut, we chip” model. After clearing brush and small trees from around your home, residents can participate by bringing branches, limbs, and other woody vegetation to the designated drop-off location in Prince Park this August. 

Ready to defend your property from fire by mowing or cutting vegetation? Just remember: Cal Fire recommends not mowing or trimming dry grass after 10 a.m., and never on a Red Flag Warning day. On days like these, even a simple spark can cause a major wildfire. 

Learn more about the Community Chipper Program HERE.

Learn more about our Weed Abatement Program HERE.




The County of Sonoma manages a county-wide evacuation map that is used to help identify areas that are under threat either by fire, flood, earthquake, or power outage. Knowing your zone is essential because it allows you to understand the impact evacuation warnings or order have on you and your family.

Please take a moment to find your location and make note of your zone HERE.

Then click HERE to download and print this map to keep in your Emergency Go Bag!




Staying updated is essential during an emergency. Emergency alerts are sent to share critical information regarding evacuations and safety during fires, floods, earthquakes, and other disasters. 

We recommend signing up for the following alerts:

  • Local Petaluma Alerts through Nixle. Text your zip code to 888777 to sign up.
  • Sonoma County Emergency Alerts. Sign up HERE.
  • Watch Duty app. Watch Duty is a service powered by over 100 volunteers – firefighters, dispatchers, and first responders – who diligently monitor radio scanners and other social sources 24 hours a day to send you the most up-to-date information about current fires. Download the Watch Duty app or visit to access information and updates.

Click HERE to download and print a list of Emergency Alert contacts to keep in your Go Bag.




In the event of a disaster or public health emergency, your neighbors may be a critical resource. During the recent wildfires, many lives were saved by pounding on neighbors’ doors, honking horns to wake people up, and piling strangers and their animals into cars and out of danger zones.


  • Who has a special skill set that could be vital in an emergency (nurse, contractor, HAM radio operator, CERT or CPR trained, etc.)?
  • Who has a generator?
  • Who has a fenced yard or safe place to keep pets?
  • Who has a truck or utility vehicle?
  • Who has special needs, mobility issues, or may need a helping hand in the event of an evacuation?

Cool Petaluma’s Block Leader Program helps connect neighbors to increase our community’s resilience – both to climate change and in the event of natural disasters. Learn more about getting involved HERE.




Respiratory health is important, so it’s essential to take steps to avoid exposure to unhealthy air. You can check current air quality conditions by visiting and entering your zip code.

Please take the following precautions when air quality is poor: 

  • Limit time outside 
  • Close the windows 
  • Use fans or air conditioning with re-circulated air when possible 
  • Stay hydrated 

People who must be outdoors for long periods in areas with heavy smoke or ash may want to consider wearing an N95 respirator mask. Those with existing respiratory, lung or heart conditions should limit their exposure by staying indoors. Since wearing a respirator can make it harder to breathe, those with lung or heart conditions should check with their doctor before using one.

For more information about how to protect yourself from unhealthy air quality, visit:




Please be aware of PET HEAT SAFETY — never leave your pets in a parked car! 

According to the Humane Society, on an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die.

During extreme heat like we are experiencing today, pet owners should:

  • Watch the humidity
  • Limit exercise on hot days
  • Provide ample shade and water
  • Don’t rely on a fan
  • Watch out for hot pavement

CLICK HERE for more helpful information from the Humane Society.




Temperatures are rising and it’s important to keep yourself safe from potential heat-related injuries. During excessive heat, please make sure to:

  • Find air-conditioning when you can
  • Avoid any strenuous activities
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing
  • Check on vulnerable neighbors, family, and friends
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water

When spending time in the heat or direct sun, be sure you are taking the proper steps to avoid heat cramps, exhaustion, or stroke.

Need to escape the heat? Residents experiencing homelessness can access the cooling center at the Mary Isaak Center throughout the summer. More details are below:

  • The Cooling Center will open at noon when temps reach 85 degrees or higher.
  • Guests must check-in at the front desk to sign-in
  • They may use the first-floor small restrooms only
  • Dog owners must always have their dog on a leash
  • Dogs must use the dog run to relieve themselves
  • All participants are responsible to clean up after themselves/dogs
  • After dinner meal service, guests must exit the property by 6pm

Click the link below for more resources regarding staying safe during excessive heat:




Be prepared to hit the road in a moment’s notice with basic survival necessities that you can grab and go. Create one bag for each member of your household (don’t forget your pets!). 

Click HERE to download the printable checklist.




Disaster can strike unexpectedly and move fast. Planning ahead for yourself, your loved ones, and your neighbors is a crucial step in making it through the unexpected safely.

Visit for resources that help you prepare to protect yourself and your family best.




The City of Petaluma is looking for talented people to join our team! Please click the links below for more information about our open positions.

Firefighter/Paramedic – Lateral

Human Resources Analyst I/II

Police Officer (Current Academy Attendees and Graduates)

Police Officer – Lateral

Police Officer Trainee

Senior Management Analyst

Senior Transit Planner




The City of Petaluma is hard at work for our community. Please check out our upcoming meetings and click on the links below for more information:

June 19, 3:30pm – Tree Advisory Committee Meeting

June 19, 6:00pm – Recreation, Music & Parks Commission Meeting

June 20, 6:30pm – General Plan Advisory Committee Meeting

June 25, 6:00pm – Planning Commission Meeting

June 27, 6:00pm – Public Art Committee Meeting

July 1, 6:30pm – City Council/PCDSA Regular Meeting

July 2, 4:00pm – Historic & Cultural Preservation Committee Meeting

July 3, 6:30pm – Pedestrian & Bicycle Advisory Committee Meeting

July 9, 6:00pm – Planning Commission Meeting

Check for upcoming meetings, agendas, and how to participate on the City’s meeting webpage:

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