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File #: 2020-1008   
Type: Consent Calendar Item Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 9/28/2020 In control: County Administrator
On agenda: 10/2/2020 Final action:
Title: Establishment of the Glass Fire Disaster Fund
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’s Office; Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector

Staff Name and Phone Number: Peter Bruland, (707) 565-3086; Ryan Burns, (707) 565-8304

Vote Requirement: 4/5th

Supervisorial District(s): All




Establishment of the Glass Fire Disaster Fund



Recommended Action:

Recommended action

A)                     Establish the Glass Fire Disaster Fund to manage costs and reimbursements associated with the incident.

B)                     Adopt a Budget Resolution establishing a $2.48 million immediate response budget in the new fund to be financed from the 2020-21 Economic Uncertainty Fund. (4/5th Vote Required)



Executive Summary:

The Glass Fire burning in eastern Sonoma County and Napa County has led to widespread significant damage and displaced thousands of residents.  The fire began on September 27 in Napa County, and spread quickly during the evening and through the morning of September 28.  At the time of writing the fire had burned 48,440 and was 2% contained.  Cal Fire has confirmed more than 110 structures destroyed in Sonoma and Napa Counties, including 28 homes and 15 other structures in Sonoma County.


A local emergency was issued by the County Administrator in the capacity of Emergency Director, which the Board will be ratifying as part of today’s agenda. In order to track and pay for immediate response activities, an emergency fund is needed.  The item also includes a budget resolution to move the $2.48 million from the FY 2021-21 Budget Hearings established Economic Uncertainty fund to finance initial costs and emergency repairs needed at the Los Guilicos facility.  The County has been approved for Fire Management Assistance Grant funding by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which provides 75% reimbursement only for “response“(FEMA Category B) costs.  Los Guilicos repair costs are expected to be covered by insurance, and are very preliminary General Services estimates total approximately $8 million for initial repairs, however initial funding is needed for emergency work to make the facilities usable. The preliminary $8 million estimate is based on the 2017 Wildfires incurred costs associated with the over 340,000 sqft of facilities.


In addition Governor Newsom has issued an emergency proclamation and requested a federal Major Disaster Declaration.  The County may be eligible for California Disaster Assistance Act (CDAA) funding and other Federal sources, but this has not been confirmed at the time of writing.



Early in the morning of September 27, 2020, the Glass Fire ignited in Napa County, and strong winds ignited spot fires near the Sonoma County border.  These were pushed west and south by significant winds, and during the night of September 27 and morning of September 28 burned through unincorporated areas within Sonoma County and into eastern Santa Rosa.  Originally identified as separate fires, these spot fires have been merged into the larger Glass Fire incident.  As of this writing, the fire has burned at least 48,440 acres across the two counties.  Cal Fire has confirmed more than 110 structures destroyed, including 28 homes and 15 other structures in Sonoma County, numbers that are likely to grow. 


Staff are still working on initial cost estimates for the incident, which will include significant sheltering costs, costs for law enforcement mutual aid, and staffing costs including overtime.  In addition to these response costs, the Los Guilicos facilies suffered damage initially estimated at $6 million for immediate repairs.  These costs are expected to be covered by insurance, however some immediate funding is required to allow emergency work to begin.


The County has been approved for Fire Management Assistance Grant funding, which is expected to cover 75% of only direct response costs.  Governor Newsom has issued an emergency proclamation and requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration.  The County is pursuing California Disaster Assistance Act funding, which would cover an additional 75% of remaining response costs if approved, leaving the county’s local share of direct response costs at 6.25%.  Additional costs will include damage to public property and debris removal, which are considered under the direct response costs. Federal and/or state funding availability will depend if total damage thresholds are met.  Currently, funding has not been approved to offset these costs, but the County will pursue available state and federal sources. 


In order to begin paying for and tracking these costs, staff requests that the full $2,478,444 be transferred from the Economic Uncertainty Fund included as part of the FY 20-21 Adopted Budget. 


As cost estimates and reimbursement timelines are better developed, staff will continue to update the board and return to request additional funding if necessary, and will include state/federal and insurance reimbursement funding offset if it becomes available.


Prior Board Actions:

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Fiscal Summary


FY 20-21 Adopted

FY21-22 Projected

FY 22-23 Projected

Budgeted Expenses




Additional Appropriation Requested




Total Expenditures




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Use of Fund Balance








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Narrative Explanation of Fiscal Impacts:

During Budget Hearings the Board of Supervisors set aside $2.48 million to refill the Economic Uncertainty Fund.  This item includes a resolution to appropriate this funding and transfer into the new Glass Fire Disaster Fund.  The County is currently eligible for 75% federal reimbursement of Category B Emergency Response Costs.  At present there is no approval for debris removal and permanent projects.   The County will apply for all available federal and state funding assistance.  The County also expects insurance to pay for costs associated with damage to County facilities. 


Staffing Impacts:




Position Title (Payroll Classification)

Monthly Salary Range (A-I Step)

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Narrative Explanation of Staffing Impacts (If Required):




Budget Resolution


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