BY ROY ALBERT ANDRADE, K1LLER, Inc.
SAN RAMON, CALIFORNIA - As many as thirteen 50 - 75 mph wind-driven wildfires have displaced over 100,000 Northern Californians, and has destroyed over 6,900 property structures, killing 42 residents. Approximately six wildfires are close to being extinguished, while cooperating agencies, such as the Oregon State Fire Marshal, California National Guard, California Highway Patrol, American Red Cross of the Central Coast, and Pacific Gas & Electric Company help firefighters suppress seven destructive fires that have contributed to an estimated $1 billion dollars in insured property damage. One hundred and two female inmates in orange Nomex flame-resistant clothing, who are willing to work for $1 dollar an hour, and carrying 50 lbs of equipment on their backs are battling wildfires side by side with civilian firefighters.
The wildfires have triggered immense evacuations, and dozens of school closures in Solano County, Sonoma County, Napa County, Yuba County, Mendocino County, Butte County, and the Bay Area. In reaction to the Northern California wildfires, Sonoma County is advising property owners to visit http://sonomacounty.ca.gov for links to find temporary housing. Napa County lacks links on their website for temporary housing assistance, but Napa Valley Community Housing assists homeowners in finding prospective residents searching for spare rooms, and can easily be reached at http://www.nvch.org for detailed information. Mendocino County urges displaced residents to call their 24-hour hotline at (707) 467-6428. Fire refugees can also reach out to 24 Hour Fitness, one of the world's largest privately owned gyms, and find shelter at their clubs across the entire Bay Area until Thanksgiving Day.
“This has been a trying time for local residents, which includes our members, employees and their families,” said Chris Roussos, CEO, 24 Hour Fitness. “When tragedy hits, it’s easy to set aside your health and well-being. We hope to offer residents and first-responders a place to work out, or just relax.”
Shawn W. Anderson