By Sara Floor.
Two years ago, the North Bay fires changed the lives of thousands of Californians overnight. While the events forever changed the landscape of many California communities, they also had a profound impact on the course of CSAC advocacy.
Wildfires emerged as a priority on Governor Newsom’s agenda and CSAC worked tirelessly the past two years to preserve inverse condemnation and keep utilities accountable by leading passage of important wildfire legislation. CSAC was also successful in obtaining additional disaster relief funding for counties, including backfills for lost property taxes, direct local assistance, and public safety power shutoff resources.
As we observe the second anniversary of the North Bay fires this week, we take a look back at the reactions, impacts and lessons learned from first-person accounts shared on The County Voice, CSAC’s blog.
Firestorms: A Supervisor Speaks from the Heart, published October 18, 2017, by Sonoma County Supervisor and current CSAC 2nd Vice President, James Gore. This blog post chronicles the multi-county and CSAC association response to the North Bay fires.
Rebuilding Your Life After a Devastating Fire Takes More Than Wood and Nails, published October 10, 2018, by Brian Fies, a writer and cartoonist whose comic strip “A Fire Story,” describes his family’s escape from the Tubbs Fire. This post features an animated version of the Emmy Award-winning “A Fire Story,” as well as Fies’s reflection on his ordeal.
Finally, Three Tips on Rebuilding After a Wildfire, published July 17, 2019, by Coffey Strong founder Jeff Okrepkie. This most recent blogpost shares lessons learned in Sonoma County with those facing the challenge of rebuilding in Paradise, Butte County.
And while these three accounts chronicle experiences in Sonoma County, we know all too well that many counties including Napa, Mendocino, Solano, Lake, Orange, Ventura, Los Angeles, Butte, Yuba, Nevada and Fresno Counties have all experienced terrible emergencies as well.
California counties are committed to the Governor’s principles of reducing wildfire and disaster risk, protecting survivors, ensuring for safe and affordable power and holding utilities accountable, and we support further efforts to this end. CSAC will remain focused on wildfires and emergency response in the upcoming legislative session.