Wildfire News & Updates

Apply by November 30 for United Way wildfire relief cash grants

November 27, 2017:

The United Way has a deadline of November 30th to apply for grants from the United Way Wine Country Wildfire Relief Fund.  You may be eligible if you were displaced from your home, lost your home, or lost vehicles or income. See our blog post explaining it in detail and download the form.

Link to our blog post

Download the application form


Sonoma County did not Consider Using Mass Cell Alerts to Warn of Fires

November 18th, 2017:

After wildfires broke out in Sonoma County in October officials did not utilize the Cal Alerts system to warn residents. Officials instead relying on opt-in cellphone and landline programs that only reach a fraction of the county. FEMA and CA Office of Emergency Services state geographic targeting features have been available since 2013.

Link to the Press Democrat article

Wildfire evacuations

Upcoming Town Hall Meeting in Santa Rosa – Nov 14

November 14, 2017:

Levin Simes LLP would like to invite you, your family, friends and neighbors, to a Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, November 14th from 5:30 to 6:30pm at the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Hall located at 1351 Maple Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95404. Please see the flyer below for details. Drinks and snacks will be provided.

This is a great opportunity to come together with your fellow community members to learn about resources that are available to you.

We look forward to seeing you there.

See the notice at our blog.

Check out the Facebook event page.


Learn about Protections Utilities Must Offer You

November 9th, 2017:

The California Public Utilities Commission has published a convenient fact sheet detailing all the consumer protections that exist for those affected by the Northern California wildfires. Learn about how billing cannot be continued to affected homes, new payment plan options, removed deposit requirements, and more.

Link to CPUC Utility Fact Sheet

CPUC logo

Power-line restart devices linked with past wildfires

November 2nd, 2017:

Power-line restart devices linked with past wildfires and were present in the Northern California wildfire areas.  A new SF Chronicle article describes the devices, their history, and their possible role in starting the wildfires.

Link to SF Chronicle article.


Power Lines

At Least 17 “Electric Safety Incidents” the Night of the Wildfires

October 31st, 2017:

Reports of downed power lines on October 8th and October 9th throughout Napa and Sonoma included locations in Kenwood, Santa Rosa, Glen ellen and Geyserville. Broken branches and trees damaged equipment in Ukiah in Mendocino and multiple locations throughout Napa County. PG&E may be liable for the damages from the fire if the wildfires are linked to their downed equipment or improper maintenance and clearance.

Link to East Bay Times article.

Electrical wires and trees

Reports from PG&E indicated downed lines and trees in fire zones

October 31st, 2017:

Incident reports at the California Public Utility Commission (PUC) detail the investigation into the cause of the Northern California wildfires. Investigators are determining the cause of the fires, but have already located downed power lines and and broken poles at locations considered likely to be source locations for the fires.

Link to SF Chronicle article.

Fallen tree

PG&E violated safety rules throughout wildfire region

October 25th, 2017:

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) violated safety regulations related to our electrical-grid at least 11 times throughout the North Bay region, according to a new article by the Mercury News. The Public Utility Commission (PUC) released 2015-2016 audits showing PG&E failing to make timely inspections in Napa and Sonoma county.

Link to the Mercury News article.

Firefighters smoke

Public adjusters can help, but be careful

October 22nd, 2017:

A public adjuster can represent you for a fee against insurance companies, and can help inventory your losses. But adjusters are limited and not the same as an attorney, especially if they are charging 5-15% including what insurance offered before help. Wildfire attorneys on contingency only claim a percentage of additional money they procure, underlying insurance claim remains whole.

Link to SF Chronicle article.


List of Resources and Ways to Get and Receive Help

October 20, 2017:

People displaced by the fires or those who lost their homes need help.  In addition to our resource page, check out this article by the Sacramento Bee listing ways to get and receive help.

Link to Sacramento Bee article.

Team Spirit