Santa Rosa, CA – October 24, 2017 at 6:00 PM – As of 3:00 p.m. today, Tuesday, October 24th, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office is opening the burned unincorporated county areas of Mark West to Porter Creek to Franz Valley Road. Porter Creek (and tributaries off Porter Creek) is still closed between Franz Valley Road and Petrified Forest Road. Franz Valley Road and tributaries are closed between Porter Creek Road and Franz Valley School Road. The openings include Mountain Home Ranch, Franz Valley School Road, Hwy 128 and all the tributaries that are in that area.
In order for you to access your neighborhoods, you must check in at a checkpoint where your identification will be verified and you will be issued an area pass, along with safety equipment and an information packet.
Due to the late opening, these areas will have extended open hours until 6:30 p.m. today and will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. tomorrow.
One checkpoint open today, Tuesday, October 24:
The location of the checkpoint is the Kaiser Medical Buildings (not the hospital) located at 3925 Old Redwood Hwy, Santa Rosa, where you will be provided with safety equipment, a pass, and an information packet. NOTE: Access is now available from both the north and south on Old Redwood Hwy.
Second checkpoint tomorrow, Wednesday, October 25:
A second checkpoint will be open at the Knights Valley Fire Department tomorrow, located at 16850 Spencer Ln, Calistoga, beginning at 10:00 a.m.
To see if your address is evacuated, use the online, up-to-date evacuation map for Sonoma County available at http://bit.ly/sonomafiresevacuationmap.
Re-entry is controlled by entry points to ensure that only residents are allowed back in to burned areas. All re-entry notifications will be done via Nixle and Sonoma Sheriff Facebook. Text your zip code to 888-777 to sign up for Nixle alerts.
- There will be controlled points of entry to neighborhoods staffed by law enforcement who will verify identification and addresses. The re-entry notification will include the location of checkpoints and will list specific hours of entry. Some checkpoints will be issuing passes to get to affected neighborhoods. Passes will be issued to an individual car and are designed to get people easily through checkpoints.
- To enter a restricted zone, residents must provide a form of ID. Acceptable forms of ID include a driver’s license or state ID card, passport, utility bill and valid photo ID, or consular ID. School IDs will not be accepted as valid photo ID. Again, IDs are required to ensure that only residents are coming back into neighborhoods.
- If you do not have ID, the Local Assistance Center (LAC) can help you obtain an ID. The LAC is located at the Press Democrat building at 427 Mendocino Avenue in Santa Rosa.
- Your immigration status will not affect your ability to get an ID.
- Residents can have as many family and friends accompany them as they wish, within the one car per residence limit.
- A map that shows available re-entry points will be provided at entry checkpoints.
- The Department of Public Health advises that children under 18 should not be exposed to the sites as there are toxic chemicals that are hazardous to their heath.
- Ash is a toxic material and dangerous to your health. It is highly recommended that you don’t handle this material.
- Pets are also discouraged as they are closer to the ground and can breathe in unhealthy chemicals.
- A change of clothes and plastic bags are recommended so ash and hazardous chemicals don’t go back into your vehicle and contaminate occupants.
Re-Entry Kits and Safety Instructions:
- A re-entry kit with safety supplies will be provided for residents at the checkpoints.
- Safety instructions for protecting against hazardous chemicals and conditions will also be provided and should be followed.
Support services will be available in each neighborhood:
Each neighborhood will have emotional support services, including mental health providers, the faith community, and law enforcement chaplains.
Media Access to Affected Neighborhoods:
We appreciate all the media has done to keep the public informed and provide information to those outside the community about our needs and recovery efforts. Media personnel will be able to access these neighborhoods via the controlled points of entry at the same time as residents. Media credentials will need to be presented to law enforcement at the check points.
During re-entry, our focus will be on helping members of our community return to their property, providing them with safe, secure, private time, and making sure they have the support services they need throughout this process. We ask the members of the media be respectful of the privacy of our residents. Not everyone will want to interview or be on-camera as they reunite with family, friends and neighbors, evaluate their losses, and determine next steps.