Assessing the Aftermath of the Napa & Sonoma County Wildfires

The recent wild fires in Napa and Sonoma County has reminded us all how quickly life can change when you live in a “fire county.” Unfortunately, people are still searching for loved ones as the death toll continues to rise in the aftermath of the historic blaze that ravaged Northern California in early October. Governor Jerry Brown said that the wildfires are “truly one of the greatest if not the greatest tragedy that California has ever faced.”

Now that the fires have been contained, the extent of the damage has become all too clear. Based on the figures assessing the damage, Governor Brown’s statements are far from hyperbole. According to the numbers:

  • Over 160,000 acres, the equivalent of 250 square miles, have been burned in Sonoma, Napa, and Solano counties. An additional 36,000 acres was burned in Mendocino County.
  • In Sonoma County, 23 people have been declared dead, bringing the total death count in Northern California to 42 people. The fires are the deadliest in the history of the state.
  • As of this writing, dozens of people are still missing.
  • According to the state’s wildfire-fighting agency, Cal Fire, 8,400 structures have been destroyed by the fires. Data provided by insurers shows that about 5,500 homes were completely destroyed, while an additional 4,000 were partially burned. Those trying to rebuild also face a labor shortage and steep labor costs.
  • It has been estimated that the losses from the fire will total more than a $1 billion. In fact, this figure continues to increase.

For those who are still grappling with the shock and trauma of losing everything, it can be difficult to know where exactly to start the process of rebuilding their lives. To make things more complicated, many people who have lost their homes have been forced to travel between temporary housing and local assistance centers in Napa and Sonoma counties. These centers serve as one-stop shops for people looking for resources from federal, state and local agencies, as well as nonprofit organizations.

Have you or a loved one been affected by the wildfires in Sonoma and Napa County? Contact our Napa and Sonoma County fire attorneys to find out how we can assist you today.

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