MENDOCINO Co., 9/21/2021 – The Mendocino County Board of Directors voted unanimously on Tuesday to declare an emergency due to the Hopkins fire, which began on the afternoon of September 12 in Calpella, just outside Ukiah, and grew to about 257 acres before being fully confined yesterday September 20. Declaring an emergency opens up a series of state and federal relief funds and resources to local governments for disaster cleanup and recovery.
Travis Killmer, the county’s disaster recovery operations coordinator, said the county had just completed a preliminary damage assessment which found 67 structures in total, including 36 single-family homes and 31 accessory structures, sustained damage out of 33. different properties. An inspection of 29 of the affected packages also found 28 destroyed vehicles, seven destroyed trailers and three destroyed boats. “These numbers will likely increase once we gain access to the remaining properties,” Killmer said.
Homeowners who have suffered damage to their home or structures as a result of the fire must file a Request for reassessment of property damaged by misfortune or calamity. The property must have suffered at least $ 10,000 in damage to be eligible for a disaster adjustment, the claim form of which must be filed within the next 12 months. Fire survivors can get the form in line or call 707-234-6800 and have a request mailed to them. Completed applications should be mailed to: Mendocino County Assessor, 501 Low Gap Rd., Room 1020, Ukiah, CA 95482. The assessor’s office is also open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday for answer questions and help complete the application. Once the assessor reviews the information, the owners will be contacted by the county assessor.
Other damage included structural damage to a private road, Rubicon Court, but it is not a county road and would not be eligible for disaster recovery assistance, Killmer said. It would be up to the area’s road association or the owners to fix this road, he said. The Calpella Community Water District also lost a booster station that primarily serves the Marina Estate subdivision, but a temporary water pump is in place and the district is working to secure a replacement, which would be eligible for state funding. or federal. “As far as I know the water is fine,” Killmer said. “It’s safe to drink. It’s just this pumping station that they lost.
Meanwhile, Killmer said the county Prevention, Recovery, Resilience and Mitigation Division is working with local nonprofits to coordinate a day-long assistance center for fire survivors, but the day and location have yet to be decided. The division is also working to educate the elderly and Spanish-speaking fire survivors who may not have such easy access to the internet to find recovery and assistance resources. The county is working with the district attorney’s office to distribute funds for victim services, which would be available to anyone affected by the fire. The division is also considering commissioning a watershed assessment for tributaries of the Russian River and Lake Mendocino, the main sources of water supply for large swathes of the county. “We’re a little concerned about erosion, as many of the affected properties were directly on the water,” Killmer said.
Supervisors also voted unanimously to authorize an administrative permit program for fire survivors that would allow them to use trailer coaches as temporary accommodation for up to three years, with an expiration date of September 24, 2024. for all permits. This is essentially the same program that supervisors approved for survivors of the Redwood Valley, August Complex, and Oak fires. There would still need to be an environmental health review to ensure the availability of septic tanks and water. The program would amount to a waiver of approximately $ 33,000 in total license fees.
The county is meeting with the California Emergency Services Bureau tomorrow, Sept. 22, to discuss “the scale of this disaster” and the impact on the watershed, said Darcie Antle, deputy county executive director. In the past year, the county has gone through five disasters and still suffers three: COVID-19, the drought and now the Hopkins fire. “So we were hoping with these aggravating disasters that we could get some help from the state and the federal government,” Antle said, “but we need the state to advocate on our behalf.”
Anyone needing more information on returning to their property, rebuilding, or obtaining general assistance and a list of resources can visit Hopkins fire | Mendocino County, California or call the Mendocino Disaster Recovery Hotline at 707-234-6303. If you lost your home to the fire, you can also call the American Red Cross for assistance at 707-262-7117.
Watch the full meeting here: