Fire ignites at Santa Rosa homeless encampment same day it was scheduled for clearing

A fire broke out at a homeless encampment along the Joe Rodota Trail in Santa Rosa that's expected to be cleared out Friday. 

The Sonoma County Health Department started relocating some of the 250 people who had been living on the trail after several complaints from residents in the area. 

The county is moving some people into a 60-unit shelter that's not fully finished yet, but there's not enough space for everyone. 

Activists on Tuesday gathered to protest the eviction of the encampment and said the City of Santa Rosa and the county are under a federal injunction to accommodate the homeless until sufficient housing is available. 

Homeless advocates said that's not being done. 

County officials said there are plans for an additional 80 units at two other camps and they are assessing and moving people to an emergency shelter at Los Guilicos, while also exploring other options. 

"We protest because 96% of the world's countries have a longer life expectancy than the average homeless person in Sonoma County," said Merlin Davis with Democratic Socialists of America. 

Rohish Lal spokesperson with the Sonoma County Health Department says, "We're working to assess people and provide them with different options. We have shelters, we have vouchers and we're looking at all available options that we have for people and finding them a place."

There are an estimated 3,000 unsheltered people living in Sonoma County. 

The county has declared the encampment along the Joe Rodota Trail a health and safety hazard. 

Just a month ago, fire officials confirmed crews responded to 25 calls at the encampment. 

In a bid to upkeep the ara, the county was providing frequent task pickup and security at night.