As Santa Rosa, Napa and Petaluma shelters get filled to capacity, many victims of the now deadly fire have turned to the Marin Veterans Memorial auditorium at the Marin Center in San Rafael.  " />
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October 19, 2017
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Fire Update: 10 confirmed fire related deaths, evacuees, donors and volunteers flock to evacuation centers

  • Falck Group provides two strike teams, 10 ambulances in each team, that are ready to assist for immediate evacuation. They are based out of Petaluma. They had people from Sacramento to San Jose there to help assist in anyway they were needed. One of their biggest jobs was to help with evacuation of patients from Kaiser and Sutter, they started working at approximately 10 p.m. last night. The relief support effort has been set up in Rohnert Park at the Exchange Bank parking lot on Commerce Boulevard.

  • Falck Group provides two strike teams, 10 ambulances in each team, that are ready to assist for immediate evacuation. They are based out of Petaluma. They had people from Sacramento to San Jose there to help assist in anyway they were needed. One of their biggest jobs was to help with evacuation of patients from Kaiser and Sutter, they started working at approximately 10 p.m. last night. The relief effort group was located in the Rohnert Park Exchange Bank parking lot on Commerce Boulevard.

By: Katherine Minkiewicz
October 9, 2017

North Bay fire storm update:

There are now at least 10 confirmed deaths due to myriad fires blazing throughout eight different North Bay counties through 70,000 acres, causing donors, volunteers and evacuees to take shelter at several local evacuation centers.

Sonoma County Sheriff’s office first confirmed seven fire related deaths around 4:30 p.m. Monday, however, the initial death toll rose after it was reported that two others died in the Atlas Fire near Napa, according to Cal Fire. The other death occurred in Mendocino County in the Redwood Valley Fire.

As Santa Rosa, Napa and Petaluma shelters get filled to capacity, many victims of the now deadly fire have turned to the Marin Veteran’s Memorial auditorium at the Marin Center in San Rafael.

One Geyserville family said they came to the Marin shelter since all other shelters closest to them were already at full capacity and fled with their dog Maddie in tow.

“We don’t know what is going on. We came here because everywhere else was full,” the family said, who also mentioned that before fleeing they sprayed down their roof in an attempt to protect their house from the flames.

However, they said despite their precautions, they were still concerned for their home and that it’s a possibility they will return to see their home in ashes.

“We don’t know what we’ll come back to,” the family said.

As of 12:30 p.m. the count of evacuees flocking to the center was around 315, according to Public Information Officer for Marin County, Laine Hendricks.

According to Hendricks the auditorium can hold up to 2,000 refugees but does not currently have sleeping accommodations. However, the Marin Humane Society is boarding pets for those who have evacuated from the Sonoma and Napa fires.

Evacuees were seen entering the shelter carrying bags of clothes, sleeping bags, Safeway bags with toiletries, water bottles and snacks. One little girl had her stuffed animal in hand while other families with children brought along soccer balls and coloring books as a form of distraction.

Nathalia Zabala, a senior at Sonoma Valley High School evacuated with her family to the San Rafael shelter after experiencing the strong smell of smoke, which she said was a health concern for her sister who has asthma.

Zabala described her surreal experience, “I went to sleep last night and I woke up around three a.m. to text messages from my friends telling me to get up and when I woke up the smoke was getting to our house. There wasn’t any fire in Sonoma and there wasn’t in Glen Ellen (at that point) but we decided to leave because my sister has asthma and the smoke was affecting her, so we met up with my whole family in Petaluma and came here.”

Zabala and 15 of her family members made it to the Veterans Memorial Auditorium to wait out the clouds of smoke, ash and fire.

When asked how long she and her family were planning on staying in the shelter, she said they were thinking of going back since she said they heard it was dying down a bit in Sonoma.

 

Amidst a steady stream of fire victims making their way to the San Rafael shelter, volunteers and locals were also seen around the area, trying to help out as best they could.

Amy Kattar, a Southern Marin resident from Fairfax, brought several larges bags to the evacuation center to try and offer some aid.

“We have toiletries, hygiene products, tampons, clothes and coloring books,” she said, referring to the bag of supplies her and friend were carrying. “We know people dealing with it (the fire) and my mom was born and raised in Napa. I feel helpless and I wanted to do something to help.”

Mark Chiang, also a Marin resident, said even though he didn’t personally know anyone affected by the fire, he still wanted to come by to the center to try and volunteer. “I want to volunteer my time,” Chieng said, who explained he wanted to offer help to those in need. While the Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium isn’t currently accepting walk-in volunteers, you can register to volunteer at volunteer.cvnl.org.

Zabala said of the whole experience, “I’ve never been through something like this.”

Other evacuation centers that are still open include:

Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Rd, Santa Rosa

Sebastopol Community Center, 390 Morris St, Sebastopol

Cloverdale Citrus Fair, 1 Citrus Fair Dr, Cloverdale

Sonoma Valley High School, 20000 Broadway, Sonoma

Analy High School Gym, 6950 Analy Ave, Sebastopol,

Healdsburg Community Center, 1157 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg

Church of Christ, 370 Sonoma Mountain Parkway, Petaluma

New Life Church, 1310 Clegg St, Petaluma

Cook Middle School, 2480 Sebastopol Rd, Santa Rosa

Guerneville Veterans Hall, 16255 First St, Guerneville

Monte Rio School, 20700 Foothill Dr, Monte Rio

Windsor High School, 8695 Windsor Rd, Windsor

Casa Grande High School, 3333 Casa Grande Rd, Petaluma

Adobe Christian Church, 2875 Old Adobe Rd, Petaluma

Burton Recreation Center, 7421 Burton Ave, Rohnert Park

Calvary Chapel of Petaluma, 1955 S. McDowell Blvd, Petaluma

Sally Tomatoes, 1100 Valley House Dr, Rohnert Park

Novato United Methodist Church, 1473 S. Novato Blvd, Novato

Lighthouse Christian Church, 1915 Novato Blvd, Novato