Relief centers open for North Bay wildfire victims

Throngs of Napa County residents wrapped around a building Monday morning as the county's Wildfire Local Assistance Center opened on Napa Valley Corporate Road. Individuals, families and businesses impacted by by the Glass Fire can get one-stop assistance from local, state and federal representatives, for all currently available support and relief.

Those seeking assistance are required to socially distance with mandatory masks that will be provided if applicants don't have them. Those wishing to apply online can log on to

Loyal Hughes suffered the loss of 15 tons of grapes on five acres.

"Basically the house and the vineyard are OK. The crops are lost due to somke damage. Trying to see if there's any assistance, particularly for the crop loss," said Mr. Hughes.

David Navarro's job went up in smoke when the Calistoga Ranch burned.

"Definitely to get rent assistance to be able to pay the rent this month and car payment' I mean, everything," said Mr. Navarro. "It's not just Angwin. It's St. Helena, It's Calistoga, you know, kind of the whole area," said Hughes commenting on the long lines.

This afternoon, Sonoma County opened a similar Local Assistance Center at the Maria Carillo High School on Montecito Boulevard in Santa Rosa. Currently, it is scheduled to be open, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday through Saturday, October 10.

"It's not our first time. We've gone around this for the LAC was set up more efficiently and effectively. It's going very smooth in there and that's with the addition of the pandemic," said Santa Rosa Mayor Tom Schwedhelm. "Very helpful. They help you with all the questions you have. So, very, very happy to be here," said now unemployed dog trainier and walker Juan Carlos Cuniga.

The 5,000 residents of the Oakmont Active Adult Community re-opened to residents yesterday afternoon after an eight-day evacuation. Oakmont was not just threatened by the fire and mostly unscathed, but suffered real damage in the form of several destroyed homes. Nonetheless, people are happy to be home.

"Oh, it feels wonderful. This is the second time we've been evacuated; first in 2017 and then this time and another time we left because of power outages," said Oakmont resident
Carolyn McKenna.

It's been and continues to be a long haul in the disaster ridden North Bay. "It is draining and fatiguing on our community? Absoluteley, because it's a change in the way of life," said Santa Rosa Mayor Schwedhelm.

"So I guess the rule is adapt and be ready and just deal with it," said Oakmont's McKenna. With the Glass Fire still burning and the potential for wind events throughout the month and beyond, these centers may be open for a long time.