Senior living organizations with communities in certain parts of California put their disaster preparedness plans into action over the weekend as wildfires spread.
Sunday, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency “due to the effects of unprecedented high-wind events which have resulted in fires and evacuations across the state,” some of them mandatory.
“The Kincade Fire in Sonoma County has burned more than 30,000 acres to date and has led to the evacuation of almost 200,000 people and threatened hundreds of structures,” the governor’s office posted online. “As of today, there are over 3,000 local, state and federal personnel, including first responders, assisting with the Kincade Fire alone.”
The so-called Tick Fire in Southern California also has destroyed structures, threatened homes and infrastructure, and led to the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents, the governor’s office said. By Sunday, the fire was 70% contained, and evacuation orders had been lifted, according to ktla.com.
SFGate.com reported Sunday that the Kincade Fire in Northern California had destroyed 94 buildings. Pacific Gas & Electric officials notified 500,000 customers — more than 1 million people — that they were likely to have their power turned off for the third time in a week as a fire-prevention effort, according to the media outlet, which also reported that almost 2.7 million people had lost electricity by Sunday.
“The Kincade Fire sparked on Wednesday night in Northern California’s Sonoma County. Strong winds with low humidity are creating conditions for a wildfire to continue to spread quickly,” Brookdale Senior Living posted on its website, indicating that some of its communities had been affected by the mandatory evacuation orders.
Brookdale evacuated one community Saturday and two on Sunday.
Residents of Brookdale Windsor, Windsor, were moved Saturday to Brookdale Scotts Valley, Scotts Valley.
Assisted living residents of Brookdale Chanate, Santa Rosa, were relocated Sunday morning to Brookdale Redwood City, Redwood City. The community’s memory care residents were moved to Brookdale Elk Grove, Elk Grove.
Assisted living residents of Brookdale Paulin Creek, Santa Rosa, were evacuated Sunday morning to Brookdale Folsom, Folsom; memory care residents were relocated to Brookdale Citrus Heights, Citrus Heights; and independent living residents were taken to the Four Points by Sheraton in Scotts Valley.
The telephone lines of evacuated communities have been forwarded to the temporary community locations, Brookdale said, also noting that some residents chose to evacuate to family members’ homes.
“We continue to monitor the conditions of the fire and follow the guidance of local authorities in regard to additional evacuations,” the company said in a message on its website. “It’s important that you know we have detailed plans in place that include moving residents to a safer area with accompanying care associates, providing temporary accommodations as well as food, beverages and personal belongings.”
The organization said it is posting updates on Facebook in addition to its website.
Oakmont Senior Living was another operator affected by the fire.
Sunday, the organization had a message posted on its website indicating that as a precautionary measure due to the Kincade Fire, residents at all four of its properties in Santa Rosa — Fountaingrove Lodge, The Terraces of Fountaingrove Lodge, Villa Capri at Varenna and Oakmont of Varenna— had been safely evacuated to other Oakmont communities, including Oakmont of Cardinal Point in Alameda, Oakmont of Montecito in Concord, Oakmont of El Dorado Hills, El Dorado Hills, and Oakmont of Fair Oaks, Fair Oaks.
Sunday in San Diego, the national LeadingAge organization kicked off its annual meeting.
“I want to pause for a moment and also take a moment to show our concern for the thousands impacted by the fires here in our host state of California,” LeadingAge Board Chair Stephen Fleming said. “This is a terrible situation, and I know many of our member communities are having to evacuate.”
Fleming is president and CEO of the WellSpring Group in Greensboro, NC.
“Being from North Carolina and hurricane country, and knowing what it’s like for communities to have to evacuate, those are tumultuous times,” he said. “Our thoughts and our prayers are with you.”
The California Assisted Living Association has posted a spreadsheet on its website where communities able to accept evacuated residents can add their information.