Here are short news items about how local governments and organizations are helping with the recovery from the October fires in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Lake and Solano counties.
Fire debris removal
The City of Santa Rosa and County of Sonoma have established the Sonoma County Consolidated Fire Debris Removal Program (Program) to focus on removal of household hazardous waste and other fire-related debris. A Debris Removal Frequently Asked Website: sonomacountyrecovers.org/debris-removal.
SSU to study fires
Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University announced a wildfire impact assessment study that was launched on Oct. 11 to evaluate the immediate and long-term effects of recent wildfires on the North Coast wine industry.
Mendocino County aid
A Disaster Recovery Center, jointly operated by the State of California’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has opened in Mendocino County, to offer residents affected by the devastating October 2017 wildfires a one-stop-shop for disaster assistance.
The center is located at 1375 N. State St. in Ukiah. The center is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. The center offers a continuation of services from a previous location at Mendocino College.
Damage reaches billions
Damage from the recent North Coast fires has totaled more than $3 billion to date, state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said . That figure makes them the costliest wildfires in American history in terms of insured loss.
The total from Sonoma County alone has climbed to $2.8 billion so far, which alone surpasses the 1991 Oakland Hills fire, with $1.7 billion in costs at the time, according to the Insurance Information Institute, a national industry trade organization that compiles claims data. The 2015 Valley fire in Lake County had been ranked as the sixth costliest at $921 million in damages.
Appraiser in the field
Beginning Monday, Nov. 6, the Sonoma County Assessor’s office will send teams of two appraisers to the affected fire areas to inspect fire damaged properties. The appraisers’ field work will help process fire damage reassessments and may lead to adjusted property tax bills.
The federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) will grant payment waivers to wineries that were affected by the recent wildfires.
The agency said it would waive on a case-by-case basis the late filing, payment, or deposit penalties related to excise taxes on wine, distilled spirits and beer products.
The wineries must be located in areas that have been declared a major disaster area by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. All four North Coast counties — Sonoma, Mendocino, Napa and Lake — are under such designation.
Napa opens Pop-Up Center
Napa County Planning, Building and Environmental Services (PBES) has established a Pop-Up Recovery Center (PURC) to address all permitting related to the 2017 Napa Fire Complex within the unincorporated areas.
Information provided includes government or private debris and ash removal programs, assistance with Right of Entry Forms and questions about EPA/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers work, temporary electrical permits, agricultural electrical permits, demolition permits for private debris and ash removal, and building permits for the reconstruction or replacement of structures within the fire areas.
The separate Pop-Up Recovery Center will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, in the Auditor’s Conference Room in the basement of the Napa County Administrative Building, 1195 Third St., in Napa.
More business coverage of the North Bay fires: nbbj.news/2017fires