California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Sunday, Oct. 27, as multiple wildfires raged throughout the state.
In Northern California’s Sonoma Country, the Kincade Fire has forced 200,000 evacuations as of Sunday. Winds reached almost 100 miles per hour over the weekend, causing the fire to grow to more than 75,400 acres as of late Monday, Oct. 28. At publication time, the fire had destroyed nearly 100 structures, including 49 homes.
Starting Monday, Oct. 28, a fire on the west side of Los Angeles has burned more than 600 acres and prompted evacuations. The Getty fire started early in the morning along the 405 Freeway near the Getty Center and spread to the south and west with more than 10,000 structures under mandatory evacuation orders.
Also in Southern California, the Tick Fire, burning near Santa Clarita outside Los Angeles, destroyed at least 22 structures and threatened 10,000 more, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Multiple other fires are also burning up and down the state.
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Even those outside the fire zone have been affected with power outages. In the past weeks, nearly 1 million Pacific Gas and Electric customers have been without power for some period due to the company’s Public Safety Power Shutoff. The shutoff is meant to mitigate the risk of additional fires, especially with high winds in the forecast.
What to Do if Your Event is in a Fire-Threatened Area
Do you have a meeting near a fire-threatened area in the coming weeks? Widespread power outages, evacuations and travel issues can all result in headaches and potential danger during meetings and events. Following are five resources for meeting planners encountering wildfire-related issues:
1. One group weathered the planned power outage in early October at Napa, California’s Carneros Resort and Spa. Read about how they not only managed but made the best of the situation here.
2. Meetings Today reported tips from two meetings industry veterans, attorney and disaster mitigation and facility contract expert Tyra Hilliard, and Joan Eisenstodt, Meetings Today blogger and chief strategist of Eisenstodt Associates. Both provided critical, immediate information for planners and/or their attendees who may be negatively impacted by a major hurricane, but these tips can be applied to preparing for any natural disaster, including wildfires.
3. These 10 Tips for Risk Management Preparations is a useful checklist to have on hand during the planning process to help you better prepare for both unexpected natural and manmade disasters.
4. Protect meeting attendees at any venue with this fire safety checklist.
5. For the most up to date information on the California wildfires, check out California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).
Are your meetings affected by the California wildfires? Share your experiences and advice to other meeting professionals in similar situations in the comments below.
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