Rep. Huffman Statement on Latest Fire News

October 11, 2017

Sonoma County, CA- Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) released the following statement in response to the devastating fires that continue to burn throughout the North Bay and the North Coast: 

“Our hearts are heavy this week as multiple fires continue to ravage communities in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties, and across Northern California. These fires have claimed lives, devastated neighborhoods, and displaced thousands of people. The destruction in several areas I have visited is vast and near-total. 

“The speed and intensity of the fires, combined with difficult terrain and heavy smoke, has limited firefighters’ ability to contain the fires.  However, the scope and professionalism of the emergency response has been truly awesome.  Firefighters and other first responders from throughout California, and including fire teams from neighboring states, are on the ground in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties.  Some of our first responders are working around the clock even though they have lost their own homes. 

"I am also heartened by the neighbors and community partners who are pitching in to support each other with housing, food, medical supplies, and other donations.  Schools, churches and community centers in Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin County are opening their doors as shelters for evacuees; fairgrounds are taking in horses and other large animals; and community groups are helping match evacuees with volunteer housing providers – including Share Sonoma County (707-765-8488 ext. 126) .  We are in this together, and our community spirit is making a difference.  We’ll need this sustained community response in the coming days when we transition to rebuilding and recovery.

“I’m pleased that our state and federal governments have also responded with great speed and urgency.  Governor Brown immediately made the necessary disaster declarations, triggering quick federal aid approvals from FEMA and a major disaster declaration yesterday from the White House.  This week, the House of Representatives will approve a second emergency supplemental funding bill to maintain funding levels for FEMA, flood insurance, and wildfire response. This is another important step, but much more remains to be done. When I return to Washington after these fires are under control, rest assured that I will be working shoulder-to-shoulder with Congressman Mike Thompson and other colleagues to make sure our region receives the additional assistance we will need to recover from this terrible devastation. 

“The next 24 hours are critical as fires continue to burn and winds are expected to increase.  Please continue to heed public safety warnings, stay alert, and prepare to evacuate if necessary.”

Residents of Mendocino and Sonoma Counties should continue to monitor these county websites to get the latest emergency services information:

The California Office of Emergency Services is also a great resource for all fire updates, as well as evacuation centers and animal centers by county.