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File #: 2020-0791   
Type: Consent Calendar Item Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 7/30/2020 In control: County Administrator
On agenda: 9/22/2020 Final action:
Title: Continue Proclamation of Local Emergency Due to the Kincade Fire in the Sonoma County Operational Area. Recommended Actions: Adopt Resolution Continuing the Proclamation of Local Emergency Issued on October 31, 2019 for another 60 Days Due to Damage Arising from the Kincade Fire in the Sonoma County Operational Area.
Department or Agency Name(s): County Administrator
Attachments: 1. Summary Report, 2. Resolution
Date Action ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsVideo
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To: Board of Supervisors

Department or Agency Name(s): County Administrator and Emergency Management Department

Staff Name and Phone Number: Sheryl Bratton, 565-2241 Christopher Godley, 565-2052

Vote Requirement: Majority

Supervisorial District(s): All

 

Title:

Title

Continue Proclamation of Local Emergency Due to the Kincade Fire in the Sonoma County Operational Area.

 

 

Recommended Actions:

Adopt Resolution Continuing the Proclamation of Local Emergency Issued on October 31, 2019 for another 60 Days Due to Damage Arising from the Kincade Fire in the Sonoma County Operational Area.

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Executive Summary:

This item requests the Board of Supervisors approve a 60-day continuation of the October 31, 2019 Proclamation of a Local Emergency in the Sonoma County Operational Area due to the effects of the Kincade Fire. The Kincade Fire began on October 23, 2019 during an extreme fire danger exacerbated by mandatory evacuation orders, an unprecedented series of wind events with historic maximum wind speeds and corresponding de-energization of large portions of the electric grid in the Sonoma County Operational Area. As required by Government Code section 8630, the Board must review the proclamation of local emergency every 60 days and determine if there is a need for continuing the local emergency.

 

Discussion:

Pacific Gas & Electric ("PG&E") instituted de-energization in the Sonoma County Operational Area beginning at approximately 2:15 pm on October 23, 2019, due to extreme fire danger weather, impacting 260,000 residents.  In response, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated at approximately 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 23, 2019, to assist with managing the impacts of de-energization.

 

The Kincade Fire, a fast-moving wildland and urban fire erupted around 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 23, 2019, and has caused widespread destruction, burning 77,758 acres and destroying 374 structures, including the loss of 174 homes.

 

On October 24, 2019, at approximately 9:37 a.m., the Director of Emergency Services proclaimed the Existence of a Local Emergency. The Governor issued an emergency proclamation on October 25, 2019.  The Health Officer issued a Proclamation of Local Health Emergency on October 30, 2019.  On October 31, 2019, the Board of Supervisors adopted Resolution No. 19--0473 ratifying the Director of Emergency Services’ proclamation of the existence of a local emergency and requesting that the Governor of the State of California make assistance available and programmed $2.5 million to financed response needs funded from the Board’s $2.5 million Economic Uncertainty Reserve.  On November 5, 2019, the Board of  Supervisors adopted Resolution No. 19--0475 ratifying the Health Officer's Proclamation of a Local Health Emergency.

 

The County initially issued advisory evacuation notices to impacted areas of Sonoma County and, shortly thereafter, issued mandatory evacuation notices to several areas in the path of the fire. As a result, residents were unable to occupy their homes and business were forced to close.  Due to the additional measures taken by PG&E in direct response to risks presented by the Kincade Fire, many businesses were unable to sell or produce products during this time and/or suffered a loss of perishable products.

 

The County established and supported 21 shelters for 4,850 individuals as well as pets and livestock, assisted with hospital evacuations, and successfully utilized multiple Alert & Warning systems to issue dozens of emergency warnings in both English and Spanish.  Roughly 190,000 residents were in the evacuation zones countywide.  The County’s real-time incident status map addressed both the fire and the PG&E power shutoff hazards and was viewed over 9.7 million times. 

 

To protect residents from hazardous debris exposure after a wildfire, the Sonoma County Health Officer issued an order advising community members to refrain from entering the burn footprint without personal protective equipment on November 1, 2019.  On November 5, 2019, the Board of Supervisors adopted an emergency ordinance requiring authorization from the Department of Health Services, Environmental Health, prior to commencing debris removal work.

 

Before the fire was extinguished, the County started working closely with State partners to plan for fire debris removal. As a result of the Proclamation of a Local Health Emergency, the County, through the Debris Task Force, entered into an emergency contract with NRC to perform a Household Hazardous Waste Sweep on all parcels burned in the Kincade Fire.  The HHW clean-up was completed on February 13, 2020.

 

Sonoma County Environmental Health is managing the second step of fire debris removal and assisting property owners with this process. Following the Household Hazardous Waste sweep, property owners must submit an application and plan to Environmental Health for approval prior to commencing debris removal. The deadline for submission of an application and plan was January 31, 2020. All cleanup activities must be completed pursuant to standards set forth by the County to ensure the protection of public health. Documentation of adequate clean-up and proper disposal is required. Due to the COVID-19 health emergency and the Shelter-In-Place Orders issued by the Sonoma County Public Health Officer, the deadline for all debris to be removed and soil sampling completed has been extended from May 15, 2020 to August 1, 2020.

 

As of September 15, 2020, out of 229 properties affected by the fire: 6 have not submitted any paperwork (debris removal application and work plan or exemption application); 184 have submitted applications; 39 have received exemptions from the program (did not present a public health threat); and 143 properties have cleaned all debris and are approved for rebuilding efforts to begin.

On August 1, 2020, a letter was sent to all property owners who have not either received exemptions or completed the paperwork. This letter advised them that they were out of compliance and urged them to complete the debris removal or to get in touch with Environmental Health with any obstacles they were facing.

As long as any fire debris remains to be cleared, it poses an imminent and extensive threat to public health and safety, the environment (including creating serious concerns for water quality and supply due to the presence of hazardous materials), public infrastructure, and undamaged property.  In addition, the wildfire ravaged hillsides leaving large swaths with inadequate vegetation, creating threats of erosion and landslides.

 

Staff recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve another 60-day continuation of the October 31, 2019 Proclamation of a Local Emergency in the Sonoma County Operational Area due to the effects of the Kincade Fire finding that the severity and pervasiveness of the Kincade Fire disaster poses an ongoing and imminent threat to public safety and undamaged property that warrants the need to continue the local emergency as authorized by Government Code section 8630.

 

Prior Board Actions:

July 28, 2020: Resolution No. 20-0257 Continuing the Proclamation of Local Emergency Issued on October 31, 2019 for 60 Days.

 

June 2, 2020: Resolution No. 20-0186 Continuing the Proclamation of Local Emergency Issued on October 31, 2019 for 60 Days.

 

April 7, 2020: Resolution No. 20-0116 Continuing the Proclamation of Local Emergency Issued on October 31, 2019 for 60 Days.

 

February 11, 2020:  Resolution No. 20-0049 Continuing the Proclamation of Local Emergency Issued on October 31, 2019 for 60 Days.

 

December 17, 2019:  Resolution No. 19-0561 Continuing and Supplementing the Proclamation of Local Emergency Issued on October 31, 2019 for 60 Days.

 

October 31, 2019:  Resolution No. 19-0473, ratifying the Director of Emergency Services’ proclamation of the existence of a local emergency within the Sonoma County Operational Area.

 

Fiscal Summary

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FY 20-21 Adopted

FY21-22 Projected

FY 22-23 Projected

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Narrative Explanation of Fiscal Impacts:

 

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Narrative Explanation of Staffing Impacts (If Required):

 

Attachments:

 Resolution

 

Related Items “On File” with the Clerk of the Board: