Fires Update, Oct. 16

An Oakmont evacuee reads to pass the time at a shelter. Photograph by John Burgess/ The Press Democrat

A prayer for the poor and neglected:

Almighty and most merciful God, we remember before you
all poor and neglected persons whom it would be easy for us
to forget: the homeless and the destitute, the old and the sick,
and all who have none to care for them. Help us to heal those
who are broken in body or spirit, and to turn their sorrow
into joy. Grant this, Father, for the love of your Son, who for
our sake became poor, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Check for the latest fire and evacuation information. For city of Santa Rosa information (including current evacuation status, boil water notices, missing persons): 

Looking to volunteer? 

The Redwood Empire Food Bank still needs volunteers. They ask that you sign up via this link so that we can schedule volunteers efficiently. 

To volunteer in Sonoma County, go here.

To help at the Solano Large-Animal Evacuation Center, go here.

The Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership has also been called in to help. If you wish to donate or volunteer, you can register at


FEMA grants are available are available for residents who have lost a house or business in the following counties: Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sonoma and Yuba.. They can apply online at or by phone at 800-621-3362, or (TTY) 800-462-7585. The phone numbers are available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, FEMA said.  Applicants will be asked to provide identification and contact information, a description of the damage and insurance information. 


Reports from the clergy in fire-affected areas:

The Rev. Wendy Watson, St. Luke's, Calistoga: Everything, except cell service, is looking good. Sunday morning we had one service at Grace, St. Helena, with Rev. Amy; it was so good to gather with the body of Christ and be fed by God's love.

The Rev. Jim Richardson, Incarnation, Santa Rosa: We are reaching the end of the fires, but we aren't out of it yet. Some evacuation areas are re-opening, though Oakmont (where many of our people live) is still closed. Highway 12 still closed a few miles to the east. Santa Rosa schools will remain closed all week. I'm listening to a school official on the radio explain that the schools can't reopen until the ashes are cleared. There are a number of schools destroyed or heavily damaged, and officials are still accessing where kids will go from those schools.

Mojo, a fire evacuee
The Rev. Kate Sefton, St. Stephen's, Sebastopol:  St. Stephen's is closing as an emergency evacuation station as of this evening. We have been able to find more stable/short term housing for our guests, with members of our community. We will be meeting tomorrow to discuss how St. Stephen's can be of ongoing direct support. 

The Rev. Canon James Thomas, Trinity, Sonoma: The power is still off at Trinity and we had both services yesterday with a good attendance including Sunday School. We placed candles all over the sanctuary and all shared stories of our experiences this difficult week.The church has been taken off the evacuated list and things are returning to normal. 

Monetary donations are the very best way to support the victims of the fires:

Episcopal Relief & Development through the  U.S. Disaster Fund.  

Episcopal Diocese of Northern California bishop's discretionary fund through the  diocese's website.  The bishop has begun disbursing funds; please your clergyperson with any needs involving fire relief and we will respond promptly. 

Incarnation, Santa Rosa through its fire-relief fund.

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