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File #: 2020-1007   
Type: Regular Calendar Item Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 9/28/2020 In control: County Counsel
On agenda: 10/2/2020 Final action:
Title: Ratification of proclamations of local emergency and local health emergency due to the Glass Incident
Department or Agency Name(s): County Counsel, Health Services, Emergency Management
Attachments: 1. Summary Report, 2. Resolution Ratifying Proclamation of Local Emergency, 3. Proclamation of Local Emergency, 4. Resolution Ratifying Proclamation of Local Health Emergency, 5. Proclamation of Local Health Emergency, 6. Health Officer Order, 7. PowerPoint
Date Action ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsVideo
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To: Board of Supervisors

Department or Agency Name(s): County Counsel, Health Services, Emergency Management

Staff Name and Phone Number: Cory O’Donnell 707-565-2421

Vote Requirement: Majority

Supervisorial District(s): Countywide

 

Title:

Title

Ratification of proclamations of local emergency and local health emergency due to the Glass Incident

End

 

Recommended Action:

Recommended action

A)                     Adopt a resolution ratifying the proclamation of local emergency in the Sonoma County Operational area due to the Glass Incident.

B)                     Adopt a resolution ratifying the proclamation of local health emergency in the Sonoma County Operational area due to the Glass Incident.

end

 

Executive Summary:

This item requests the Board of Supervisors to adopt a resolution ratifying the proclamation of local emergency by the Director of Emergency Services due to the Glass Incident that began on September 27, 2020.  Sonoma County Code Chapter 10, article 1(b) provides authority for the Director of Emergency Services to issue a proclamation of local emergency if the Board of Supervisors is not in session, subject to ratification by the Board within seven days. On September 28, 2020, the Director of Emergency Services proclaimed the Existence of a Local Emergency.

 

This item also requests that the Board of Supervisors to adopt a resolution ratifying the Sonoma County Health Officer’s September 29, 2020 proclamation of local health emergency due to contaminated debris from household hazardous waste/materials and structural debris resulting from the destruction of a large number of structures. 

 

Discussion:

Beginning on September 26, 2020, extreme fire weather struck Northern California, causing Red Flag Warnings and High Heat Advisories throughout Northern California, including Sonoma County. 

 

The Glass Fire started at 3:50 a.m. Sunday, September 27, in eastern Napa Valley, east of the Silverado Trail between Calistoga and St. Helena. The Red Flag conditions caused the fire to grow rapidly with no containment. The Shady and Boysen fires both broke out Sunday evening on the western side of the Napa Valley, on the slopes of Spring Mountain. Pushed by strong winds, the Shady fire moved rapidly over the mountain and into Sonoma County on the eastern edge of Santa Rosa above Rincon Valley. It eventually jumped Highway 12 near Oakmont, as well as spread south into Sonoma Valley.  The entire fire complex is now referred to as the Glass Incident.

 

The Director of Emergency Services issued a Proclamation of Existence of Local Emergency in the Sonoma County Operational Area on Monday, September 28, 2020 due to the destruction and ongoing threat from the Shady Fire.  The Shady Fire has been identified as a spot fire from the Glass Fire and has now been incorporated by Cal FIRE into the Glass Incident.   

 

These fires are fast-moving fires causing wildland destruction, threatening people and structures, and resulting in mandatory evacuation orders.  As of the morning of September 30, the fire has burned over 48,000 acres in both Sonoma and Napa counties, continuing to threaten eastern Santa Rosa, Oakmont, and Sonoma Valley. 

 

Mandatory evacuation notices to several areas in the path of the fires, as well as evacuation warnings to areas that could be threatened.  At the peak of evacuations, more than 68,000 people had been evacuated in Sonoma County.  As of September 30, in the unincorporated county, those remaining under evacuation orders number 6,098, with 173 under evacuation warning. In the City of Santa Rosa, those remaining under evacuation orders number 12,925, with 22,631 under evacuation warning.  The total number under evacuation order as of September 30 is 14,388 with 19,655 still under evacuation warning. 

 

The County has established temporary evacuation sites and shelters to help evacuees with a variety of resources and find shelter.  Given the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, sheltering efforts are greatly constrained in order to ensure the health and safety of the community.  The County is following COVID-19 sheltering protocols issued by the State which require extensive screening, limited congregation, and other mitigations to protect public health.  In addition, the County’s established COVID-19 alternate care location.

 

First responders have been actively engaged since the fires began and multiple community-based and other organizations have been activated.  Given the number of fires in the region and statewide, mutual aid resources are extremely limited.  Currently, over 17,000 firefighters are battling 26 major wildfires across the state. Weather is a critical factor in the firefight including high heat, low humidity and strong winds and the high heat will continue into the weekend, exacerbating firefighting efforts.  The National Weather Service has issued another Red Flag Warning and heat advisory for this week.

 

Damage assessments are not available as yet, but homes were lost in the eastern portions of Santa Rosa (Skyhawk and near Maria Carrillo High School), along Los Alamos Road and along Highway 12 between Los Alamos and Oakmont. The high school also suffered damage to two classrooms.  The County’s Los Guilicos facility also has suffered damage.  The fire continues to burn in Hood Mountain Regional Park, Sugarloaf State Park, and Trione-Annadel State Park.

 

The conditions of extreme peril caused by the Glass Incident are exacerbated by continuing extreme weather conditions, rolling power outages, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  Resources regionwide are also significantly strained due to the unprecedented number of fires burning in the region and around the state.  Public health and human services resources are strained due to COVID-19 response.  Ensuring the health and safety of those evacuated now also must include extensive COVID-19 screening and alternative shelter.  The potential of additional evacuations, as well as additional fires, remains high.

 

Ratifying the September 28 Proclamation will continue the local emergency, make available to the County/Operational Area state and local mutual aid, and allow for any state emergency funding if it is made available.

 

The ratification resolution also gives the County Administrator authority to make decisions regarding pay for the County workforce given the impacts of the Glass Incident on County facilities and required County service and facility closures.

 

The Health Officer proclaimed a local health emergency on September 29, 2020 due to contaminated debris from household hazardous waste/materials and structural debris resulting from the destruction of a large number of structures.  Under Health and Safety Code section 101080, the health emergency proclamation requires ratification by the Board of Supervisors within seven days to remain in effect.

 

Debris and ash from these fires contain hazardous substances.  The health effects of hazardous substance releases after a wildfire are well documented.  Improper handling can expose workers to toxic materials, and improper transport and disposal of fire debris can spread hazardous substances throughout the community.

 

As with prior fires, County staff are working on ensuring that there is a sweep for household hazardous waste, and are in discussions with the State about what assistance the State can provide with the cleanup.  This discussion with the State also impacts the nature of the broader fire debris cleanup program. 

 

The Department of Health Services, Office of Recovery and Resiliency, and County Counsel will be returning to your Board with an urgency ordinance to provide for a safe fire cleanup of hazardous debris.  Pending the adoption of those requirements, on September 29, 2020, the Health Officer issued an order advising that “Property owners and the community should not enter the burn footprint of structures without Personal Protective Equipment,” and requiring no cleanup activities without the written authorization of the Department of Health Services, Environmental Health.

 

Staff recommends that the Board ratify the Director of Emergency Services proclamation of local emergency and the Health Officer’s proclamation of local health emergency in order to meet the seven day period a proclamation can remain in force without Board ratification.

 

Prior Board Actions:

 

 

Fiscal Summary

 Expenditures

FY 19-20 Adopted

FY20-21 Projected

FY 21-22 Projected

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Additional Appropriation Requested

 

 

 

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General Fund/WA GF

 

 

 

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Fees/Other

 

 

 

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Narrative Explanation of Fiscal Impacts:

N/A

 

Staffing Impacts:

 

 

 

Position Title (Payroll Classification)

Monthly Salary Range (A-I Step)

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Narrative Explanation of Staffing Impacts (If Required):

N/A

 

Attachments:

Resolution Ratifying Proclamation of Local Emergency

Proclamation of Local Emergency

 

Resolution Ratifying Proclamation of Local Health Emergency

Proclamation of Local Health Emergency

Health Officer Order

 

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

None