The Russian River area outside the City of Cloverdale (River Park/McCray Rd) has seen an increase in the quantity and frequency of fires over the last several months. Many of you have seen reports of this in the Press Democrat and/or in conversations on social media.
The Sheriff’s Office and local fire investigators have an active investigation into the causes of these fires. As this is an active investigation, we have limited information to disseminate but know that our law enforcement officials are moving forward.
Over these past 18 months, we’ve been busy taking proactive steps to address the fire threats to eastern Cloverdale. Our partnership with the City of Cloverdale has been to implement a vegetation management program all along that section of the the river -- from McCray Road to the All-Coast Forest Products lumber mill, at the southern end of town -- to minimize the amount of fuel and decrease the potential for fires.
The County of Sonoma Behavioral Health Division and the nonprofit organization, Reach for Home, have crews going out to work with homeless populations twice weekly in an attempt to house those living on the river.
While this has helped get some people to move off the river, there is more work to be done.
The County is currently drafting an anti-camping ordinance that will limit how close to waterways individuals can stay.
In this video, Supervisor Gore and Cloverdale Mayor Lands share this work from the river location. Additionally, we plan to present this work at the September 28th Cloverdale City Councit meeting. We will discuss river management going forward with the intent of creating a river management agreement between the two jurisdictions to mitigate fires, provide better access to the community, move vulnerable populations to safer locations, and protect and restore the habitat and water supply.
Please weigh in with your comments and help us make more progress.