City Manager's Update / November 16, 2023
As we all know, our City is vulnerable to serious natural disasters, especially earthquakes and wildfires. It requires all of us to make sure that we are ready and prepared for emergencies, understanding that it is not likely a matter of if but when a disaster will occur in our community.

In the Fire Department section of this update, there is a recap of a grass fire that happened on the hillside on November 2. I happened to be driving by as the fire was breaking out, so I had a unique opportunity to view and witness the response on site. The response by our Fire Department and Police Department, along with our neighboring agencies Richmond FD and Contra Costa FD, was phenomenal. The fire was literally out within minutes and the incident was over quickly, thanks to the effectiveness of the Fire crews attacking the fire along with the efficiency of our Police Department doing traffic control and contacting neighboring properties in case an evacuation was necessary. There is no doubt that the weather was in our favor that day, but we also benefitted from the proactive work our crews do to maintain the hillside and the adjacent fire road. Watching our first responders jump into action and save lives and property was incredible, and I can't thank them enough for their amazing response.

This incident is another reminder about emergency preparedness. Please make sure you and your family are ready. There are many resources available on our website on how to do so, and you can also check out, and for federal and state emergency preparedness information. You can join local groups like our CERT Program or Make El Cerrito Fire Safe. Participate in our Evacuation Drill on Thursday, November 16 beginning at 10:00 a.m. And don't forget to sign up for the Contra Costa County Community Warning System (CWS) to participate in the drill and to stay informed when an emergency strikes:

I'm grateful to be part of a resilient community that works together to be prepared and ready in the event of an emergency. And thankfully, we have outstanding first responders in the El Cerrito/Kensington Fire Department and the El Cerrito Police Department who are certainly ready to do their absolute best to keep all of us safe.

As always, please take care of yourselves and each other.

Karen Pinkos
City Manager
City of El Cerrito
10890 San Pablo Ave.
El Cerrito, CA 94530