County must act on fire warning system

Posted on June 1, 2019 by Sonoma Valley Sun

It has now been 20 months since the deadly wildfires of October 2017. As another fire season gets underway, it is still not clear what sort of warning  system has been or will be put in place and how residents will be notified. Will it be a shrieking cat, barking dog, calls or loud knocks on the door from a neighbor,  an unfamiliar smell or noise that jars us awake, a recently acquired air horn? Or the oft mentioned but yet to be realized, implemented, or successfully tested “robust, redundant” alert system promised repeatedly by county supervisors and their staffs?

Everyone appreciates the county’s understanding and pledge for more meetings and consultation. But why is it that after over a year and a half more has not been accomplished to establish a system that will ensure the successful emergency notification and safety of Sonoma County residents?  

And what are we to think when a county spokesperson confesses, “We do not have a definite timetable in place for delivering and exercising (evacuation) plans for the most at risk communities” and Sonoma County Supervisor Susan Gorin at a Kenwood community meeting claims progress in reducing 300 action steps to 60, with most if not all of those apparently having seen little if any action to date?

Gorin’s colleague, Supervisor James Gore, recently acknowledged the county failed residents badly in October 2017. The sad thing is, it still is.  

— Gary Kozel, Kenwood


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