Sonoma County Complex Fires 2017 - LAST OCTOBER Documentary (2019) City of Santa Rosa CA
This fire was known as the Tubs Fire, the fire that burned Napa Valley wine vinyards and the fire that extinguished Santa Rosa.
It should be noted that those who appear in the film are employed by the bureaucracy.
Last October is a 50-minute documentary film that captures experiences during and following the Sonoma Complex Fires from the perspective of several current and former City of Santa Rosa, CA employees and officials who served as first responders, disaster service workers, and community leaders. These individuals recount both their professional and personal experiences, the critical participation of mutual aid agencies, and the overwhelming selfless support and heroism of the community during and following one of the most destructive wildfires in state history. The film provides a firsthand glimpse into the breadth of the City of Santa Rosa’s response and what it was like to work as a public servant during the fires, such as a recreation employee operating an emergency shelter, a City mechanic hearing of the loss of his own house while working to keep public safety vehicles in service, a CityBus worker transporting evacuees, police officers and firefighters on the front lines, and more. In many instances, employees reported to duty not yet knowing the fate of their own homes or of their families who were evacuated.
2017 Fires and Response
On the night of October 8, 2017, first responders and emergency managers responded to at least 12 separate fires that were spreading with unprecedented speed fueled by gusty winds. First responders and emergency managers moved quickly to select the best tools available to save as many lives as possible. Within 4 hours, a fire which started in Napa had flown into Santa Rosa. That fire alone – the Tubbs Fire – destroyed over 5,500 structures.
This was an unpredictable, quickly developing, and fast moving catastrophe. The Tubbs fire is the most destructive wildfire in California history – eclipsing the second most destructive fire with almost double the structures lost. In the initial response to this tragedy, notifications were performed by law enforcement and fire first responders. This consisted of notifications sent over SoCo Alert and Nixle, sirens, announcements on loudspeakers, and door to door notifications.
We are currently in the process of reviewing the events that took place in the early hours of the emergency, and Cal OES (Governor's Office of Emergency Services) has agreed to the County’s request to conduct an independent review of Sonoma County’s notification response. We will not stop adding to our suite of tools to alert people until we have the capacity to reach our residents exactly when and where they need to be alerted.
The Federal Communications Commission regulates how cell carriers distribute WEAs and have finalized rules which will improve the geo-targeting capabilities of the system. Additional efforts at the State of California are underway to standardize the use of WEAs. We are grateful to our partners at the State and Federal levels for working to enhance our toolbox for emergency alerts.
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