walbridge fire

Edited: A new round of evacuations was issued Monday night, Sept. 7, spurred by a Walbridge Fire flare up. The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office Nixle has the most recent evacuation orders. 

Latest damage estimates

As of 7 a.m. Sept. 5, CalFire estimates that in Sonoma County, 159 single-family homes were destroyed and 10 damaged. One piece of infrastructure was destroyed and two were damaged. Of other “minor” structures (like barns, outbuildings, sheds, etc.) 138 were destroyed and 13 were damaged.

All evacuation orders and warnings have been lifted, however, many roads continue to remain closed due to damage or concerns over safety, so check ahead of time to make sure you can get to your destination.

Redwood Credit Union opens 2020 Fire Relief Fund

The Redwood Credit Union Community Fund (RCUCF) has opened a 2020 Fire Relief Fund to assist those who lost homes due to the recent fires, and to prepare to help its communities should more fires happen this year. Donations can be made here.

"At Redwood Credit Union, every day we passionately serve our members, employees and communities, and in times of crisis, that means stepping up even more," said Brett Martinez, RCU president & CEO. "Year after year, we're faced with a new wildfire season and it's taking a toll on our communities' emotional and financial wellness. Establishing an immediate relief fund for survivors who lost their homes due to the recent fires simply feels like the right thing to do." 

One hundred percent of the tax-deductible donations will be distributed directly to fire survivors — beginning with those who lost their primary residence in Sonoma, Marin, Nap and Lake counties ⁠— and through nonprofit organizations. There will be no overhead costs from RCUCF. 

In addition to the Fund, RCU is offering financial assistance and other resources to members directly impacted by the recent fires. This includes special loan programs, insurance information, details related to nonprofit services, and ways to avoid fraud and scams during this time. For additional details on these resources, visitredwoodcu.org/2020-fire-assistance.

Sonoma is one of six counties to receive federal help for debris removal

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Sept. 4 that Lake, Monterey, Napa, Santa Cruz, Solano and Sonoma counties have been designated to receive federal assistance for debris removal under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program.

On Aug. 22, President Trump granted a Major Disaster Declaration for the state of California, triggering the release of federal funds to help people and communities recovering from wildfires that occurred on Aug. 14, and continuing. That disaster declaration was amended Sept. 4 to add the six counties for assistance with debris removal.

Those six counties plus San Mateo and Yolo counties were previously designated for FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program and for Public Assistance with emergency protective measures.

Eligible applicants for Public Assistance funds include state, county and local governments, federally recognized tribal governments, and some private non-profits such as educational and medical facilities. FEMA provides 75% of the cost of eligible projects

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property.

For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. TTY users may also call 800-877-8339. Applicants may also email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or visit SBA at SBA.gov/disaster.

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