Utilities News

Palo Alto Firefighters Provide Wildfire Mutual Aid in Butte County

Palo Alto Firefighters Provide Wildfire Mutual Aid in Butte County

This November has served as a cruel reminder that fire season lasts all year long in California. Our hearts go out to our neighbors in both Northern and Southern California devastated by the unprecedented wildfires. Palo Alto’s Engine 65 immediately deployed to the Butte County “Camp Fire” when the wind-driven fire ignited on Nov. 8, quickly ravaging the town of Paradise. Cal Fire's current estimate is at least 7,600 homes have been destroyed in the "Camp Fire". It is being called the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history with full containment not expected until Nov. 30. Our crews remained in the area until Nov. 19 as part of a Santa Clara County mutual aid strike team. They have been working round the clock, putting out spot fires in evacuated neighborhoods affected by the fire, in the hopes of keeping them safe for repopulation.

Unhealthy Air

The effects of that fire have drifted to the Bay Area in the form of smoke that has created unhealthy air quality. Palo Alto joins a number of other cities in Santa Clara County offering a Clean Air Center shelter to protect the exposure of those living outside. Besides our libraries, the Opportunity Services Center on Encina Avenue is open as a shelter from the poor air.

For the safety of our employees as well, some outdoor operations and maintenance activities may be reduced due to air quality impacts. We appreciate your patience as we work through any production backlog once the air quality improves. 

How You Can Help

In this season of Thanksgiving, there are many ways you can help our neighbors in the fire zone who have lost their homes, belongings and loved ones. Click here to find a list of charities on our website where you can give to help those in need.

Being Prepared

The wildfires serve as a reminder of the range of hazards we face living here in California. Visit our Preparedness page to learn more. One primary preparedness measure is to stay Informed of local emergencies by signing up for the Santa Clara County Mass Notification System, AlertSCC. This system allows the City of Palo Alto to quickly provide critical information and instructions to subscribers using registered cell phones, emails, or landline phones through a reverse 911 function. You can register your phone numbers and email addresses at www.AlertSCC.org

Last Updated: November 19, 2018