Sonoma County Fires

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. will create around-the-clock wildfire prediction and response center in San Francisco and hire firefighters on retainer as part of its plan to prevent wildfires or contain them once they erupt.
The first home being rebuilt in Fountaingrove reached a milestone recently when framers began roughing in the walls of Ed and Kathy Hamilton’s Shillingford Place home.
The outlook for the county’s general fund has brightened, but a projected $14 million shortfall is on the horizon as recovery costs from the state’s worst fires soar.
Testifying Tuesday before Congress, Sonoma County Supervisor Susan Gorin pleaded for help improving Sonoma County’s emergency preparedness.
A Florida debris removal company has offered to help Coffey Park residents solve a vexing problem: replacing the burned, cracked and sinking walls on Hopper Avenue.
Christopher Godley brings to his new assignment as Sonoma County’s interim emergency manager several decades of related experience.
A small team of workers is setting up the forms for the foundation of a Larkfield Estates home, signaling the slow but steady rebuilding effort progressing in the unincorporated community north of Santa Rosa.
Debris haulers, crucial to rebuilding after October's wildfires, have become a force to be reckoned with on local roads.
The effort to clean up debris from the October wildfires has been made more complicated by confusion over just how 'clean' the cleared lots must be before rebuilding can proceed.
'Plaintiffs failed to use and exercise ... the proper care and precautions which a reasonable prudent person under the same or similar circumstances would have exercised,' attorneys wrote in their Feb. 20 response to the lawsuit.
Nearing 90, firestorm survivors R. Curtis and Ramona Smith say many blessings have helped them heal from the fire.
Local mental health collaborative addresses long-term mental health needs of Sonoma County residents affected by North Bay fires.
A benefit concert Saturday night at Epicenter in Santa Rosa was expected to raise $10,000.
County leaders now say they’d rather send too many warning messages than too few during future emergencies. 'We need to use every notification tool available to us,' said Supervisor Lynda Hopkins.
A valley that is home to grape growers and urban refugees has come a long way since the historic fire raced over the hills, forcing a massive evacuation and surprising many who were asleep in their homes.
A free construction and insurance seminar is planned for 2 p.m. March 10 at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts.
Sonoma County’s emergency response and the state’s firefighting mutual aid system were outmatched by the October firestorm, the state senator said Friday.
By imprinting their snug-fitting silicone wine caps with the hashtag #SonomaSTRONG, and relying on the support of local wineries and businesses to sell them, a local couple has raised $40,000 in fire relief funds.
In an emotional reunion, Sonoma State University President Judy Sakaki presented the university’s Valor Award to the Santa Rosa firefighters who saved her life during the October firestorm.
Under the worst-case scenario where no rebuilding were to occur in Sonoma County, the $24 billion local economy would suffer a $750 million loss.
‘We have to increase our pace and scale of everything we’re doing,’ said Mark Ghilarducci, director of the state Office of Emergency Services.
Wireless alerts to cellphones are now in the warning system. What about a network of sirens or fire detection cameras that could alert authorities to a firestorm?
'These fires were moving so quickly, in today’s world we need to get mutual aid quicker on the road,' said Santa Rosa Fire Chief Tony Gossner.
After losing a home and the coast redwoods they planted over 20 years ago, a Kenwood couple are determined to lay down new roots after the fires.
'All my life I placed my faith in the professionals — you guys rock,' said Supervisor Susan Gorin, who lost her own home in the October fires, after hearing a presentation from a top county emergency official. 'And to tell you that I am horribly disappointed is an understatement.'
'The County would benefit from additional training, exercises and awareness, with emphasis on coordinated communications and more preparation and analysis associated with these rapidly evolving evacuation scenarios,' the review said.
'It was kind of like spotting a footprint of your ancestors,' says David Carrio, a full-blooded Coast Miwok, after an obsidian tool was found on a property being cleared of wildfire debris last week in Glen Ellen.
A new state report found Sonoma County emergency staff failed to prepare for the kind of fast-moving wildfires that broke out in October and had an outdated understanding of technology they could have used to alert people in harm’s way.
Local new car registrations topped more than 20,000 for the fourth year in a row. Thirty percent of the vehicles were sold after the October wildfires.
Officials are calling for a surge in home construction not seen since the decades after World War II. But can such a bid overcome enormous labor, materials and planning obstacles?
Santa Rosa may be zeroing in on the cause of the contamination in the water supply of a Fountaingrove neighborhood devastated by the October wildfires, but there are troubling signs the problem may extend into the surrounding area.
There’s no denying that the county emergency management team fell woefully short in its preparation for and response to this calamity, at best leaving residents in the dark or asleep, costing them time they could have used to grab pets, possessions and important papers before fleeing. At worst, it may have cost lives.
The ongoing emotional and psychological plight of residents was the focus of the forum.
Poor emergency communication by Sonoma County in October’s firestorm endangered lives, Board of Supervisors Chairman James Gore said Thursday.
The first home went up in Coffey Park, kids returned to school, debris removal was completed and a larger builder pulled out of the fire rebuilding effort. Here's a recap of key neighborhood news in January and February.
Four months after the wildfire tore apart their Santa Rosa neighborhoods, residents say the fire has brought them together.
The Santa Rosa neighborhood has seen cleanup efforts accelerate, even as infrastructure costs rise and authorities extend traffic oversight after a serious multi-vehicle dump truck crash.
The popular interview show will focus on life after the October fires at a live taping in Santa Rosa next month.
Nearly 30 Santa Rosa-area businesses were lost in the October fires. One, Kohl’s, plans to reopen next month.
'They were caught short. And they... weren’t as prepared as they needed to be,' California’s top emergency official said of Sonoma County’s response to the firestorm.
The Roseland University Prep students are working on six designs for their teacher who lost her home in October’s fires.
Midori, the only one of 20 Persian cats to survive the fires, appeared at the Call of the Wild Cat Show.
Sonoma County emergency dispatchers were unprepared and understaffed for October’s unprecedented disaster. New plans are ready should it occur again.
The North Bay Fire Relief Fund raised and distributed $32 million in 120 days, one of the largest disaster relief efforts in Northern California history.
Nearly 300 people attended a town hall meeting in Santa Rosa on Thursday to better understand what they need to do before they can break ground on a new home.
January ended with the fewest number of homes for sale in Sonoma County since at least 1990, another startling ripple of October’s wildfires, which claimed more than 5,100 homes.
Homeowners looking to rebuild with energy efficiency, fire protection and water conservation in mind can attend a free Santa Rosa expo next Friday.
Officials are trying to make sure all properties burned in the October wildfires are cleaned up by early April, regardless of who is performing the work.
The calls are an effort by the utility to give customers a chance to ask questions about their bills or other aspects of the rebuilding process.
Use of control burns, expanded monitoring for slides and floods conditions and tighter regulation of brush control are all on the table for the county.
After deadlocking in December, the City Council is on track to approve a rezoning that could bring 237 new townhomes into the fire-prone area.
The owner of the property told residents it is too expensive to rebuild the Santa Rosa mobile home park, a refuge for low-income and senior residents for nearly 60 years.
Santa Rosa resident Robert Percy, who lost his eye in the wake of the fires, is among numerous fire survivors struggling to get help from FEMA.
Thankfully, cooler heads are prevailing in the clash between the city of Santa Rosa and a local contractor who has allowed his debris-clearing workers to live in trailers on a vacant 1-acre parcel near Coffey Park.
Organizers were unable to secure the needed funding while working through the city of Santa Rosa’s permitting process.
Most vineyards in Sonoma County were unscathed by the October wildfires. But growers with vineyards exposed to extreme heat are anxious to find out how the fires will affect their prized crop.
A Santa Rosa official said staff still will determine how many trailers can remain on a contractor’s property.
A Santa Rosa contractor providing a free place for employees to live while they clean up wildfire debris is in a showdown with the city. The dispute could force him to evict the workers from his Coffey Park property.
The crowd-sourced project of the Sonoma Ecology Center will look at how the fires burned across the North Coast.
County workers would be able to request a one-time payment of up to $10,000 from their accrued vacation hours under the proposal going before the Board of Supervisors.
Underneath the charred remains, sprigs of post-fire growth are taking hold at the popular public lands in Kenwood.
The findings mark the first public reports by government authorities into what caused some of the dozens of blazes that erupted Oct. 8 and became the deadliest and most destructive wildfires in California history.
The unlicensed contractors attempted to bid on rebuilding jobs in the burn zone, investigators say.
The region can expect solid economic growth amid the challenges of rebuilding from October’s wildfires, said UCLA economist Jerry Nickelsburg
A county supervisor faulted FEMA for failing to explain what residents can expect from the government program.
UC Davis researchers hope thousands of respondents from Sonoma County and other fire-affected areas will participate.
The Kenwood-area destination has 10 of its trails ready and camping starts Feb. 15.
Garage doors proved a deadly obstacle for at least five of the 44 fire victims in October.
The ‘Recovery & Rebuilding Town Hall’ attracted 40 people who heard about progress since the October fires.
PG&E, the dominant utility across Northern California, now faces a widening legal battle over its alleged connection with the fires.
Redwood Adventist Academy officials had to get creative with recess after the Tubbs fire destroyed their campus, forcing them to move into a Santa Rosa church.
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors directed the county’s emergency services manager to provide a public analysis of why alert systems failed to reach the public during the October firestorms.
The Board of Supervisors agreed to pay $20 million over three years to a San Ramon company to expedite permitting.
Benzene has been discovered in the drinking water near burned Fountaingrove homes, but the source of the contamination is eluding investigators.
Supporters of a ban want to preserve the burned neighborhoods for the county’s long-term housing supply, fearing a possible influx of investors who could buy the sites of destroyed homes and rebuild them with tourists in mind.
Bay Area-based DeNova Homes was unable to get assurances from construction subcontractors and suppliers for a timely rebuild.
State lawmakers, regulators, power company officials to convene at SR city hall
Neighbors were startled to learn they, not the city, owned the walls burned in the October wildfire and are now responsible for costly replacements.
Rep. Mike Thompson said he and other legislators were working on a disaster aid package to bring $4.5 billion to communities affected by the North Bay fires.
The utility has trimmed or removed 30,000 scorched trees, clearing a major hazard to its power lines.
Researchers are looking for markers in the ash and air that might predict toxicity and health effects.
The subcontractors sending the notices are guaranteed payment for government cleanup services.
Elections are coming up on June 5 and people who lost homes in fires need to update their mailing addresses.
'It’s a place to live,' says Carol Caparros, who lost her Fountaingrove home in the October fires. 'And hey, it’s better than some other alternatives. You know what, it’s pretty luxurious considering.'
PG&E has temporarily suspended billing for 6,500 customers that lost homes or businesses in the October wildfires. Some have moved into new homes and are bracing for hefty charges when the bills resume.
Cardinal Newman High School held a special ceremony Monday, welcoming students back to the Santa Rosa campus after being split among four different sites after October’s wildfires.
Sonoma County schools are already seeing students struggle with attendance, grades and behavior due to stress, the inability to focus in class and having nowhere to do homework.
Officials foresee no major short-term impacts from the federal government shutdown in Sonoma County.
A version of the map filed in November shows almost the entire North Coast at elevated risk. Parts of Sonoma County, including areas in the east and northeast, are shown at extreme risk.
The city is on track to burn through nearly $18 million in savings this year, potentially leaving it unable to pay its share of the cost of removing debris from the fires.
Two brothers were arrested Oct. 17 while trying to get to their mother’s destroyed Fountaingrove house.
Under pressure, many insurance companies have agreed to make additional payments for personal property lost in the October fires without requiring policyholders to fill out a detailed inventory. See what your insurer is doing.
The Sonoma Ecology Center is sponsoring a series of walks that explore the recovery of torched landscapes throughout Sonoma County and educate the public about how plant and animal communities adapt to fire.
Check in on a few locally owned businesses that were affected by the fires and how they’re doing now.
'It’s a different landscape literally and figuratively,' say Pacific Union International senior vice president Rick Laws.
The loss of 5 percent of the city’s housing stock has clouded the city’s budget picture, while post-fire spending jeopardizes other big projects.
The bills would strengthen insurance consumer protections for fire victims, many who have been underinsured and overly burdened with documenting what was destroyed in the wildfires.
Of more than 3,200 fire victims who FEMA said were eligible to be considered for temporary public housing, just 189 said they needed it.
State forestry officials are waiving costly harvest plans for burned trees close to damaged buildings in Sonoma, Mendocino and Napa counties.
RN Peggy Goebel says many are due credit for volunteering to help at fire evacuation centers.
That leads to my question. If victims of the fire paid for $100,000 of coverage, for example, for the contents of their house, why not pay them all of it? Why put them through the pain of having to prove they have it coming?
Coffey Park will be fully cleared of debris within two weeks and the rest of Sonoma County by end of February, the state announced at a meeting in Santa Rosa.
The state authorized a new agreement Friday with the Burlingame-based company ECC to advance the cleanup without delay, despite protests filed by a company that lost out on a federal contract to remove fire debris.
Park managers are eager to provide access to unburned reaches of two popular county and state parks above Sonoma Valley.
The long-awaited blueprint will identify areas at high risk of wildfires and guide electric companies in public safety precautions for years to come.
One of two brothers arrested while trying to get to their mom’s burned house after the October wildfires will take his case to a jury.
Government contractors had to halt plans this week to ramp up their removal of debris from the October wildfires after federal officials received formal challenges to two contracts.
Evan and Mark Neumann were arrested for trying to reach their mother’s property five days before the area was opened to residents after the October wildfires.
Although firefighters made a stand at St. Rose Catholic School during the Tubbs fire, the campus underwent a major renovation after it flooded two weeks later.
Investors are wading in as homeowners in Fountaingrove decide they will not rebuild. The median lot price among listings: $350,000.
Local officials unveiled commemorative coins created for the men and women who defended the county against its worst natural disaster.
James Gore said Sonoma County government must confront a ‘new normal’ after October’s devastating fires.
With three strong hurricanes, wildfires, hail, flooding, tornadoes and drought, the United States tallied a record high bill last year for weather disasters.
When one family had to leave their chickens in order to flee the October wildfires, they thought the birds would perish. Not only did they survive, but video footage shows how close the fires came.
Books will be handed out to fire victims during the Welcome Roseland Community Celebration Jan. 20.
Senate Bill 819 would bar PG&E and other utilities from passing on litigation and other costs to ratepayers in cases where they were found to be negligent.
The ruling applies to pretrial proceedings in nearly 100 suits against PG&E stemming from the deadly October fires.
The fires have left many re-evaluating their relationship with possessions and pondering questions like, 'What is most important to me?' and 'What do I really need to be happy?'
As people re-examine their relationship with material possessions, fire survivors find they’re attaching deeper meaning to the things that somehow made it through the flames.
Three months after fire tore through the Anova school for autistic kids and young adults at the Luther Burbank Center, students are set to return to school on Monday.
The legislation would create a statewide standard for how to warn people during emergencies like wildfires.
Homeowners living in fire zones in Sonoma County could see their insurance rates soar, or lose coverage altogether. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones wants the Legislature to do something.
The Army Corps of Engineers awarded the cleanup contract in Sonoma County to ECC, a Burlingame-based company.
These profiles of the victims of October’s fires are moving, honoring but, most of all, heart-breaking.
State regulators have released previously withheld details in reports filed by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. revealing the location of damaged transmission equipment found near the ignition points of the October wildfires.
'We will be here, arms locked with state and local officials, to help California recover from the fires,' Federal Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen plans to visit wildfire-ravaged parts of Santa Rosa and speak with local officials.
After the October fires, people who have lost everything have been bringing their misshapen jewelry to one Sonoma jeweler, who transforms the blackened pieces into beautiful treasures.
'People could use a laugh,' says Russian River Brewing's Jacob Totz, of tonight's stand-up show he helped organize in Santa Rosa.
The policyholders are responding to reports of Sonoma County homeowners who found themselves underinsured by upward of hundreds of thousands of dollars after filing their claims.
The county waived permit fees for the reconstruction of fire-destroyed homes, but reversed course when it threatened federal monies.
They were young siblings and older couples. They were parents and grandparents, military veterans and caretakers. Read the stories of the 40 victims of the Northern California fires in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties.
Clinics in a Can are now being used by Santa Rosa Community Health Center after the loss of Vista Family Health Center in the Tubbs fire.
The county is still deciding whether it will be a party in legal battle against PG&E stemming from the North Bay wildfires.
From empty beer cans to an old toilet, people are dumping trash in the rubble of burned-out neighborhoods. Authorities are stepping up patrols.
An SRJC student found a dozen goldfish in a fire-scorched tub, living off ash after recent fires.
Thursday is the last day the disaster recovery centers will be open. After that, those in need can get assistance online or by calling the disaster hotline.
Across Sonoma County, many displaced by October’s fires will spend Christmas as paying guests with a parking lot for a view and strangers in the room next door. They represent one segment of the tens of thousands of residents displaced in the disaster.
Sonoma County officials are in the middle of a dispute about a cat that a family of Fountaingrove fire victims believes is theirs and that is now living with people who adopted him.
Ahead of their holiday break, grade schoolers visited Riebli Elementary School for the first time since the October fires. They resume classes Jan. 8.
Ten USAA policyholders who lost their homes in the October fires are suing the company alleging it committed fraud by underestimating the amount of coverage they needed to rebuild their homes.
When the Santa Rosa Cycling Club was able to visit its shop and warehouse on Coffey Lane on Oct. 9, there was nothing left.
The State Insurance Commissioner urged insurance companies to provide full property coverage to North Bay fire victims without requiring a detailed inventory.
Today, the final section of streetlights turns on in the neighborhood. 'It gives you a ray of hope,' said resident Lani Jolliff.
When wildfire swept through Pepperwood Preserve in October, the wildlife cameras continued to capture footage in places where humans couldn't go.
Safety concerns stalled a developer’s plan to build up to 237 new homes in Fountaingrove, which was badly burned in the October fires.
The new county Office of Recovery and Resiliency will have its own budget and seven staff members. Its mission: to guide development and implementation of a fire recovery plan.
Officials for Schaefer and Riebli said regular air quality measures at the two campuses have shown no signs of toxicity from the cleanup efforts.
The money from two sources of county housing funds will go to sites around Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Windsor and the Sonoma Valley.
The 'Today' show partnered with Walmart and a local nurse to create an early Christmas for 10 Sonoma County families impacted by October's wildfires. Missed it? Watch it here.
The second Band Together benefit concert, with headliners Red Hot Chili Peppers and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, raised $4 million for North Bay fire relief.
Of all the lessons to be learned from these fires, this is one of the most significant — and painful.
Lawyers from across the country are documenting evidence and courting fire victims in a high-stakes race to sign them up for what many believe will be a record payout.
Christmas carolers and an impromptu nighttime carnival transformed an area where 1,300 homes burned.
The worker was a subcontractor for AshBritt Inc., which is helping to clean up damage from the October wildfires in Sonoma County.
New records show 54 percent of emergency warnings sent to telephone numbers in Sonoma County failed to connect during the first 24 hours after the SoCo Alert system was activated for the October wildfires.
'Christmas lights get you in the spirit and make you feel good,' says Mario Sottile, one of the many sticking with their holiday traditions this year.
The city plans to set up a temporary fire station at an old site on Parker Hill Road site until it can rebuild a permanent fire station destroyed in the October wildfires.
Debbie Havstad thought it was funny, but also a way to make the best of a bad situation.
A 700-square foot building that survived the flames at one of Sonoma County’s most beloved wineries will house a temporary tasting room and ultimately a memorial to the North Bay fires.
One local woman put her detail-oriented skills and social media savvy to work to identify fire victim families, then paired them with a volunteer.
The Laps of Appreciation benefit allowed the public to ride the two-mile course in emergency vehicles like fire engines, ambulances and more while raising money to help fire victims.
The question remains why Amber Alert-style alerts were not issued during October fires that killed 24 residents.
The quarter-cent sales tax approved by Sonoma and Marin county voters in 2008 has provided $36 million to the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit system.
The Fountaingrove site is the only one of the 2,800 structures destroyed in the October wildfires whose owner has yet to apply for cleanup.
Samples of Sonoma County creek water taken after the Tubbs fire appear to show that pollution control measures are working.
'If they see these (stars) as daily reminders, they remember that they’re not alone,' says Jeff Parness, a New Yorker who started the pay-it-forward project after the Sept. 11 attacks.
The new measures expand temporary housing options and simplify some aspects of the permitting process, among other steps.
Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch is organizing a memorial ceremony for all animals, domestic or wild, that died in the October wildfires that rampaged through Napa and Sonoma counties.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has awarded a $5,000 preservation grant to the Sonoma Valley Historical Society to assist with documenting the historic structures lost in the October 2017 Nuns Fire.
Congregation Shomrei Torah had 35 congregants lose homes in the October fires.
Many displaced homeowners are discovering that will likely have to pay tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket as they process their claims.
Losses will continue at similar levels for the next several years, peaking in the 2020-2021 fiscal year at an anticipated $24 million, according to early estimates from the county.
Slater Middle School students have teamed up with Rohnert Park businessman Mark Pippin to brighten the holidays for 400 children impacted by October’s wildfires.
The poster is being sent to hundreds of fire stations around the world to thank fire crews near and far who helped battle the October blazes.
Hundreds of bicycles, plus helmets and water bottles, were available to people with addresses inside the burn zone.
Unlike other debris heading to area landfills, concrete from driveways and foundations is being crushed and reused.
Coffey Park fire survivors need builders. A number have now stepped forward to offer their services.
Officials want everyone affected by the October wildfires in Northern California to register for assistance, regardless of how much insurance they have. Today is the deadline.
At least two dozen empty lots are now listed for sale in Coffey Park, Fountaingrove and Larkfield-Wikiup. A growing number of property owners are deciding not to rebuild.
Sonoma County park managers say visitors can once again enjoy the trails and views at the 850-acre park near Windsor.
Months after the fire, how are our trees faring and what can we expect in the future from them?
As fires destroyed homes, Sonoma County prosecutors allege some landlords illegally increased prices by more than 30 percent.
A bill to be introduced next month by Sen. Mike McGuire and others would require cellphone alerts.
One contractor has rented out the Alexander Valley RV Park & Campground for the last six weeks to house 40 motor homes.
Some of comedy's biggest names are coming to Santa Rosa to raise money for North Bay fire relief.
The October fires have resulted in about $9 billion in insurance claims, according to new data released by the state, triple the figure from about a month ago.
The fires sweeping Southern California, like those here in October, are largely suburban wildfires, something climate experts say are likely to be more common.
A group of more than a dozen agencies, including several from Sonoma County, will investigate and prosecute fraudulent activity, the FBI announced Tuesday.
Sonoma County released recordings of 911 calls that poured into emergency dispatchers on Oct. 8, revealing new details about the chaos that unfolded as the flames spread.
Owners are slowly making repairs to damaged store fronts and destroyed restaurants, painfully visible along Highway 101 in northwest Santa Rosa.
The failure of cellphone and other privately owned systems crippled emergency-warning efforts, and the state lacks authority to order companies to strengthen their systems against disasters, the state’s top emergency manager said.
In the aftermath of the October fires families thought their pets were gone but volunteers have been reuniting them.
More than 150 workers and their families have started to receive more than $430,000 in financial support this week.
Some local lawyers who voluntarily assist fire victims, donate to disaster relief and practice civility.
From the first few hours of the devastating Tubbs fire, PD photojournalist Kent Porter was there, documenting the disaster. Here’s an up-close photo story of the Tubbs fire, from Kent’s point of view.
The event featured the works of some of the best chefs in San Francisco and Sonoma County.
Community group Glen Ellen Forum brought residents together to heal and beginning building ties.
The Nuns fire that tore through the upper Sonoma Valley has transfigured the multimillion dollar views that inspired writers like Jack London and Michael Ondaatje.
Local industry is grappling with how to fill jobs needed for rebuilding after the fires. One estimate places the need at 6,300 workers each year for the next three years.
After her own harrowing experience in October’s firestorm, a Santa Rosa woman is lobbying government officials to require backup batteries on garage doors, which impeded the escape of several fire victims.
The October fires destroyed more than 5,100 homes in Sonoma County, upending the lives of the families who lived in them and the workers whose jobs revolved around them.
Thousands who lost homes, jobs or wages during October’s wildfires will soon get additional money from the North Bay Fire Relief fund, officials said.
Safari West celebrated with a grand reopening Saturday amid outpouring of support for the 400-acre wildlife preserve burned in the Tubbs fire.
Legal papers filed Friday oppose moving PG&E suits to San Francisco.
The number of destroyed and damaged properties whose owners haven’t applied for either government or private cleanup has dropped to 21 in Santa Rosa.
At night before silhouettes of burned evergreens, on ground newly cleared of ashes, May Salido and her three children set out a Christmas tree.
The event is part of Help-Portrait day, an international day where photographers give back to their communities.
Anamaria Morales, the 19-year-old best known for the cheesecake business she started as a high schooler, is selling hats to raise money for SRJC students and employees who lost homes in the fires.
The city is considering allowing much denser housing construction in certain areas if affordable units are included.
The California Public Utilities Commission rejected San Diego Gas & Electric’s request to hike rates to cover $379 million in uninsured legal damages from three 2007 fires.
The agency will provide up to 70 units for people displaced by wildfires.
A Rincon Valley man wants to reassure children who lost their homes in the fires that, yes, there is a Santa Claus, and he knows where they live. Here's how you can help.
The North Bay Construction Corps program has accelerated and expanded its student training program to get more of them working in the industry as the region retools for a major rebuilding effort after the fires.
'We’re moving at a pretty good clip,' says a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency overseeing the project. The goal is to complete the job by early next year.
Individuals with project ideas, whether brand new and seeking seed capital or already underway and in need of continuation funding, are eligible for a $10,000 grand prize.
Michel Azarian died this week from burns he sustained last month fleeing his Mark West Springs home in the Tubbs fire.
The nonprofit is expanding its potential pool of aid recipients and making new partners to expand its homebuilding efforts after the fires.
'I can understand it a lot more — how it feels if somebody’s sad that they lost their home. Now I understand how they feel even more,' says Ian Rich, who founded the organization in 2014 to provide blankets for local homeless.
The sold-out Green Music Center event supported efforts by the North Bay Fire Relief fund and Noma Gives.
The 'Give It Away' singers are set to perform next month in San Francisco.
FEMA has received more than 15,800 valid Sonoma County registrations related to the October wildfires, and nearly 3,200 of those have been approved so far.
For years, Moon Mountain Christmas Tree Farm has been a Sonoma family tradition. This year, families will have to find a new tradition.
In all, 72 families who lost their homes in the fires will have their portraits taken at the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens.
From tireless volunteers to a renewed sense of community, take a look at some moments of humanity that make us proud to call Sonoma County our home.
The dump west of Cotati is the main disposal site for what local and state officials are calling the biggest debris removal from a wildfire in California history.
Mental health experts said they are bracing for a wave of issues stemming from the disaster as the region sees more cases of chronic anxiety and depression.
Firestorms that burned 142 square miles in Sonoma County left some homes standing in otherwise leveled neighborhoods. They remain islands in a sea of charred rubble.
Dozens of startled homeowners, hearing Sugarloaf Ridge State Park manager John Roney’s alerts, grabbed what they could and ran for their lives.
Rather than spending the holiday with their families, crews decided to keep working to cleanup Coffey Park.
The Sonoma County Office of Education and the Volunteer Center teamed up to provide laptops to K-12 teachers, school employees and students who lost their homes in last month’s wildfires.
With its 600 students scattered at four satellite campuses, Cardinal Newman High School is charting a course toward recovery as classes and sporting events continue.
More than 2,100 applications were processed for the disaster relief funds.
‘I didn’t save anything, but what I did save was my family and those babies,’ said Dr. Scott Witt, director of the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Sutter Santa Rosa hospital.
Before people can rebuild their homes, many will need to rebuild the bridges to reach them. It’s an extra burden for dozens of rural homeowners.
The City Council signed a $9 million deal with a multinational firm to handing permits for rebuilding 3,000 homes.
Since the public deadline passed Nov. 13, the Board of Supervisors has established a process for dealing with property owners who chose neither option.
Without a plan for the wildfires that struck last month, county record keepers are intent on having one for when the next disaster strikes.
A Santa Rosa wrecking company is hauling away the destroyed vehicles for free.
Millions of dollars in property tax revenue were lost in the October fires, and Sonoma and other counties need help to keep services up.
The suit claims the seniors were abandoned by staff and escaped only because of the help of other residents’ families.
As of Nov. 8, residents have filed 4,700 claims for disaster unemployment benefits.
California's insurance commissioner says homeowners who lost their homes in last month's wildfires in Northern California have up to 24 months to collect insurance payments.
The images were captured on a wildlife camera by Sonoma County Regional Parks and shared on Facebook.
‘I looked out and everybody was in their cars already evacuating, honking their horns. Bushes appeared to be just randomly bursting into flames,” said caregiver Ed Corn, who raced into Heidi Kulick’s room, grabbed her wheelchair and said, ‘We’ve got to get you out of here.’
‘We were just going to ask about what supplies they needed, but they actually needed more help,’ Paige Williams, 15, remembers. ‘So we ended up stepping in and staying late. It turned into multiple days and weeks on end of almost living there.’
‘I just wanted to run up, see the house, and jam back out,’ Dr. Sean Wilson said. “But leaves were burning on my neighbor Val’s property, and fire was coming down the hill. I had to do something.’
'What got my attention,' Glen Hurley recalled, 'was the sound. It was different. Something wasn’t right.'
'When I got there, I saw there were no supplies except a broken glucometer, a box of gloves from my truck, some over-the-counter medications and half a bottle of Pepto-Bismol,' registered nurse Michelle Patino recalled. 'I immediately knew that we needed to get organized.'
As the flames flared through Agua Caliente, Glen Ellen Cal Fire Capt. Sean Jerry studied the situation and said, “OK, this is what we’re going to do.”
Through photos and our list of heroes, take a moment to give thanks for the hundreds of firefighting crews, law enforcement and paramedic providers that stepped into the line of fire in a heroic effort to save lives.
In this special Gratitude section, we recognize the brave and dedicated first responders who stood strong against a firestorm, and put our county’s worst nightmare to an end.
'We’ve all arrived,' Lori Barron writes. 'The man who fled in the night with four guinea pigs and his wallet. The youth with a set jaw and rolled-up sleeves, pushing a pit bull in a stroller. The girls from the rehab facility, knitting scarves before lights out....'
Neighbors of Shirley White shudder to imagine what might have happened had she not quickly attacked the midnight fire.
'We’re doing this because we believe that artists are the second responders,' said Creative Sonoma head Kirsten Madsen said. More than 50 artists have applied for grants to help them recover from last month’s devastating fires.
Members of the close-knit communities gathered at Roseland Elementary School to offer encouragement and financial support to 10 families who lost homes in the October wildfires.
Sonoma County’s largest school district plans to hold a series of community meetings to gather residents’ input on the shape of a new system to elect members of the school board.
The Santa Rosa man who shot the 8 mm film five decades ago never thought he’d live through an even more frightening fire.
As the holiday shopping season begins, business and civic leaders are trying to understand how Sonoma County’s retail landscape has changed after the most devastating wildfires in U.S. history.
The county's top emergency services executive was convinced long before the fires that push messages to wireless users would be ineffective in a disaster. So they weren't considered for warnings last month.
Jeff Kinney had a rapt audience in Petaluma as he talked to nearly 70 young students from Mark West Union School District.
Federal officials called the fire response job in Sonoma, Napa counties its largest of its kind in U.S. history.
October’s deadly wildfires sent shock waves through Sonoma County’s housing market. Prices rose to unprecedented highs, although sales dropped as fire-ravaged homes disappeared from the market.
Mario Chitwood left his $5,700 braille tablet behind in the rush to flee the flames consuming his neighborhood. The company that makes the device is stepping in to help.
Some have lost loved ones and most face very painful injuries that require specialized treatments and surgeries, occupational and physical therapy, and emotional and social adjustments that will be wrenching.
Sonoma County wineries, chefs and music stars will join together for an evening of wine, food, auction items and legendary musical artists.
If you’re feeling uncharacteristically overwhelmed or distracted at work after the Sonoma County fires, you’re not alone. Our career blogger shares ways workers may be affected, and how to take care of yourself.
For some neighbors, the organizing effort informally known as Rebuild Coffey Park has become crucial because the costs of replacing their houses may far exceed the fire insurance proceeds they expect to receive.
Economist Christopher Thornberg spoke to a gathering of business leaders Friday morning in Santa Rosa.
The COTS Mary Isaak Center homeless shelter is housing 10 new arrivals from Santa Rosa’s Finely Center, the last of the county’s emergency shelters to close.
The 101-year-old Santa Rosa resident is the latest of 23 Sonoma County victims to be named by coroner’s officials.
While homeowners worry about trees falling in winter storms, ecologists say many will survive and say let them stand until spring.
Efforts to stabilize the fire-scarred landscape against rain kicked into high gear Wednesday as a storm arrived in the region, raising the risk of mudslides, flash flooding and fallen trees.
The special passes, authorized Wednesday, are intended to help people whose lives were upended by the historic wildfires and businesses facing tough times in the wake of the disaster.
'These kids put in a lot of time. They weren’t asked to. They just did it because they felt it was the right thing to do,' said Assistant Principal Giovanni Napoli.
A judge ruled there is sufficient evidence for the charges against a Monterey County couple.
Researchers will test 175 firefighters who battled the catastrophic North Bay fires for evidence of exposure to toxins and potential health risks.
The City Council killed a stalled City Hall building project Tuesday to divert $2.3 million for recovery efforts. 'We are on track to significantly overspend our budget,' the chief financial officer said.
'I would rather lose my house than my cats and I imagine a lot of these people feel the same way,' said Jennifer Petruska, one of the volunteers helping to trap cats found wandering in fire-ravaged Coffey Park.
Supervisors encouraged staff members to increase public messaging about mental health resources and asked to hear a more detailed presentation next month.
'We want to wrap a nice, warm quilt around everyone who’s lost everything,' says Sonoma Valley quilter Mary Chelton who is spearheading an effort to provide handmade quilts for fire victims.
Lawsuits were filed on behalf of three couples who lost their homes in the fires, including former San Francisco Mayor Frank Jordan, and a couple hospitalized after surviving the fire in their pool while the fire raged around them.
'We are so happy to have him back,' said owner Jennifer Leigh Thompson. 'He’s just as sweet as he always was and he doesn’t leave my side at night. It’s truly a miracle!'
The deadline to authorize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to clean up fire-ravaged sites expired Monday.
Water officials are gearing up for a long-term campaign to protect water resources and restore scorched watersheds in the wake of last month’s fires.
Friends from high school presented old photographs to a couple who lost their home to the flames.
With fire encroaching, residents took it upon themselves to provide neighbors with on-the-ground updates.
'We can’t expect public resources to save us from fires if we don’t make ourselves as fire safe as possible,' says Lagier Meredith vineyard co-vintner and Fire Safe Council volunteer Carole Meredith.
The video compilation by PD photographer Kent Porter shows what it was like the first few hours of the devastating blaze.
A man who lost his home in last month’s firestorms returned to the ruins of his rural Santa Rosa neighborhood and apparently took his own life.
Researchers are studying whether firefighters suffered any toxic exposure in last month's deadly Northern California wildfires.
The losses were far worse than any scenario firefighters had trained for, but could have been even greater if not for the quick efforts of the local fire department.
'It’s just what people need,' said resident Anna Pope, one of the organizers behind the daffodil project.
When fires erupted across Sonoma County last month, insurance companies deployed private crews to defend the homes of their clients.
The city has identified 28 sites in Fountaingrove that could be at risk during the coming rains, endangering hundreds of residents.
Local accountants suggest reaching out to them for advice, as the tax code is complex and the process for filing deductions related to natural disasters can be challenging.
Federal authorities knew technology used to broadcast official emergency warnings from cell towers was outdated years before deadly fires erupted last month.
With more than 5,000 homes destroyed, an already squeezed rental market has been further constricted, leaving lower income residents most vulnerable to displacement.
Thousands of people now face the same high-stakes decision with today's deadline to sign up for the Army Corps cleanup program.
Organizers say 115 families applied Saturday for the UndocuFund for Fire Relief, part of an initiative to help immigrant families impacted by the fires.
Questions about why many people were not warned about the fast-moving fires last month went unanswered by Sonoma County emergency services managers for the second consecutive week.
Firefighters from Santa Rosa, Rio Nido and Los Angeles helped a family recover cherished military belongings in the wake of the destructive Tubbs fire.
Most immediately, FEMA has reserved up to 80 spots at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds RV park, and it has at least 89 mobile homes ready to deploy in Northern California.
Signs have gone up across Sonoma County urging outsiders to stay away from burn zones. But others say witnessing the fires’ toll helps public understanding and could fuel a quicker, stronger recovery.
40,000 people jammed AT&T Park Thursday night to hear Metallica, Dave Matthews and other big names during an all-star benefit for North Bay wildfire relief.
In legal filings, PG&E lawyers noted that private power equipment was seized by Cal Fire investigators in the area where the deadly Tubbs fire is believed to have started.
Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa is launching a new effort to help provide housing for those left homeless by Sonoma County wildfires.
There are things homeowners can do to protect their properties by planting and maintaining a landscape with less-flammable plants and trees and maintained in such a way that will reduce the chance of fire spreading.
Catholic Charities took on the project of helping evacuees find temporary housing.
A month after the Redwood Valley fire took nine lives and destroyed 313 homes in Mendocino County, Sheriff Tom Allman identified several actions Thursday to improve the county’s ability to warn residents of future fires.
Celebrity chef, and Bay Area resident, Tyler Florence joins Outstanding in the Field for an al fresco Thanksgiving fundraiser for fire relief efforts.
‘We made a classroom where there was no classroom,’ said Heidi Facciano, a Hidden Valley Satellite teacher who set up one of the spaces.
California state park officials have reopened about 40 percent of the popular Sonoma County park.
The EPA is urging residents to beware of impostors asking for personal financial information, such as Social Security and bank account numbers.
The future remains uncertain for Journey’s End, where about 130 mobile homes were destroyed.
At a rare joint meeting Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors and the Santa Rosa City Council agreed to move forward with a pair of policy proposals to address housing development and homelessness.
Determining the health risks for people who live near burned home sites is tricky, in part because good data is hard to come by.
There’s a mix of optimism and worry in Sonoma County — and many unanswered questions — as the region recovers from the worst wildfires in state history.
A FEMA website said Tuesday that 3,732 applications for individual assistance, including the housing program, had been approved at a cost of nearly $8.7 million.
The animals paid a visit to John B. Riebli Elementary School on Tuesday, where more than one-quarter of the school's 456 students lost their homes.
The effort begins this Sunday with a full-page advertisement in The New York Times.
A reader asks: I had a pistol that was destroyed in the Santa Rosa fire. How do I cancel the registration of a gun that no longer exists?
An army of contractors is about to descend on Santa Rosa’s most devastated neighborhood.
Scores look to join the ranks of skilled volunteers with the Sonoma County Search and Rescue after the devastating fires.
In a rare joint meeting, Sonoma County and Santa Rosa officials will discuss the extreme shortage of housing options and a homeless rate more than three times the national average.
Affected homeowners don’t need to fill out any forms or make formal requests, according to a recorded message.
James Blair Robinson and Donna Jackson were just getting by before the fire; now everything is up in the air.
Seemingly no elected leader wants to raise the banner for reimagining Coffey Park, the tract housing neighborhood that saw the greatest toll in the historic firestorm.
Local psychologists tell us that kids coping with losses from the North Bay fires will need extra care and understanding. Here’s what to expect, and when to get extra help.
Coffey Park residents are facing their first major test: how to clean up the largest concentration of burned properties in Sonoma County. The outcome could significantly influence the rebuilding of their neighborhood.