Fire Updates

October 09, 2017 | by

Fire Update 10/17/17 as of 10:30 a.m.

Bishop Carcaño Visits Sonoma Circuit

Today we met with about 20 leaders from the Sonoma Circuit who shared their stories of evacuations, fear and a deep desire to serve others.  We learned that 80% of our Sonoma church had evacuated.  On Sunday morning those who had gathered for worship had looked around and realized that only the poor had stayed.  Poverty is a sure deterrent to being able to easily move out of the way of the danger of natural disasters.(Read more)


Great things happening at Forestville UMC, we have collaborated with our local neighborhood restaurant, Back Yard, who has been cooking meals for all the volunteers and rescuers in the county, they have added our space to increase that amount They  can  provide.....They were delivering 3,000 to 4,000 a day prior to having our kitchen and space!! I am grateful for the out pouring of love as our community comes together to provide food to so many need volunteers!!

Fire Update 10/15/17 as of 10 p.m.

Bishop Carcaño Visits First UMC Santa Rosa

First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa was full this morning; full of worshipers and full of faith.  The members of Christ Church United Methodist Church also joined them.  Using words from the Book of Job, Pastor Blake Busick gave witness to his dependence on and faith in God even in the worst of circumstances.  He and his family lost their home and all their possessions in this week’s fires, but with tender love for his flock he guided the congregation to trust in God and to pray and support each other.  He reminded all of us, of those less fortunate whose future is in extreme jeopardy – care givers, gardeners, hotel workers, and others who have no insurance, and now no jobs.   They are in need of our support as well. (Read more)

Fire Update 10/14/17 as of 4 p.m.

Bishop Carcaño Calls for Donations to Wildfires and Continuous Prayer

Grace and peace to you in the name of Christ Jesus!  I have finally arrived home.  I was delayed by almost a day because of airline mechanical problems, but I am home!  I am grateful to Laura Roberson and Sandy Royall for their work to get me home, and the travel agency that worked with them. (Read more)

Fire Update 10/14/17 as of 2 p.m.

From Pastor Dawn-Karen Roberts, Potter Valley UMC

Potter and Redwood Valley Notice – I understand portions of our valleys have been approved for re-population. We will still be under evacuation watch. Please double check with the websites for Mendocino Sheriff’s Dept. and Cal Fire for details of your neighborhood. Use caution on re-entry of roads and your property. I am told that power is up in some areas, thus water, internet unknown.

Tomorrow, Sunday at 9 a.m., we will be holding a prayer and song service of comfort, hope and praise at the Potter Valley Community Methodist Church. We will pray for those affected by the fires, thank God for what we do have to be grateful for and gather in community to support one another. All are welcomed to join us. If for any reason we can not at that location we are graciously invited to Ukiah UMC at 10 a.m.

From Novato UMC

Novato UMC has been open since Monday morning. We had 60 people on Monday and 51 stayed overnight, all left after breakfast on Tuesday morning. No people on Tuesday night.  On Wed., we had 39 people for dinner, and 35 stayed overnight. Most of them stayed for Thursday, and today on Friday, we have 15 on site for dinner, and will have few more arriving at night. 

In Novato, NUMC was the fist center, and now fives churches are open.  Heard from the Fire. Dept., this morning, three other centers do not have any people.   It seems that NUMC and another church, only two, have people.   

Fire Update 10/13/17 as of 9 a.m.

From Rev. Anne Schlesinger, Wesley UMC Bakersfield

We had a number of small brush fires that spread rapidly during Monday’s windstorm. One in particular caught five houses on fire, totally destroying them. One was our SPRC chairperson’s home. She is okay, and fully insured, and she has another home to stay in. But her next door neighbors lost everything, including five horses. Please keep us in prayer, too.

Fire Update 10/12/17 as of 4 p.m.

Bishop Carcaño Issues Call to Prayer for Wildfires

Our area has been devastated by wildfires, but our United Methodist leaders have held steady in the confidence that God with us.  I hold up the example of Rev. Blake Busick, Senior Pastor at First UMC in Santa Rosa, who even while he and his family were evacuated and have possibly lost their home, led God’s people to open the doors of their church to provide refuge for those escaping the deadly fires. (Read more)

A Note from the Bishop of the Methodist Church in Cuba...

Dear Bishop Carcaño,

Greetings from the Methodist Church in Cuba.

We have heard of the destruction caused by a forest fire in Santa Rosa, Sonoma, and other areas. We are very sorry for the lives that were lost, and for the people and families that were affected. Please know that the thoughts and prayers of the Methodist Church in Cuba are with you all.

In the love of Christ,

Bishop Ricardo Pereira
Methodist Church in Cuba

United Methodists help, struggle amid wildfires

By Mary Jacobs
First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa, California, was always a church that helped others in need. After wildfires tore through Santa Rosa on Oct. 9, many in the church were homeless and relying on the help of others. Despite the damage to homes of members, the church still opened its doors as a shelter. “We got a knock on the door at 2 a.m., and had to evacuate immediately,” said the Rev. Blake Busick, senior pastor of the church. Fire embers rained down on Busick and his family as they left their home. Their home was destroyed, as were at least six homes of other church families. (Read more)

Hope UMC in South San Francisco Offers Assistance

Evacuation Centers and Churches - We are watching from Hope UMC in South San Francisco. If you need "ANYTHING" for support of your efforts please don't hesitate to contact me. We are located 10 minutes from the airport (SFO) and can provide a limited shelter for those traveling through the airport that need a safe and cheap place to stay for a while. We have internet, parking, refreshments, and a warm welcoming spirit. Give me a call: Pastor John Current (510) 220-8232

Resources for Mendocino County

For a list of resources for Mendocino County, click here.

From Rev. Judy Shook, Ukiah UMC

NCO, North Coast Opportunities, is a non-profit in Ukiah that is leading the coordination of volunteer efforts.  Joan Reynolds is the head of those efforts.  Their office phone is 707-462-3200.  

The main evacuation shelter is Ukiah High School.  Red Cross only allows sealed adn packaged foods or food cooked onsite.  Some people are offering food in the parking lot.  No organization so far. 
Food coordination needs to happen.  I've talked with NCO, some churches in ministerial association and the community Sack Lunch coordinator, Carrie Brigham, 707-972-3157.  

Distribution centers for toiletries, diapers and clothes are:
1. Ukiah Players Theater, UPT, Low Gap Road across from the High School, open 24 hrs.
2. St. Mary's Catholic Church relief, open until 5pm, 707-462-1431.  Deacon Dan Voletti, (principle at St. Mary's School) is coordinator.  
3. Dorca's porch distribution run by the Adventists, 151 Cherry St., coordinator, Ruth 707-462-1388. Usually only Wednesdays until noon, but extending hours.

Fire Update 10/10/17 as of 3 p.m.

From Pastor Burke Owens, Saint Helena UMC

As of 11 a.m., there is no immediate fire danger in or around Saint Helena.

Fires still burning to the north in Calistoga and Santa Rosa and south in Napa and Sonoma at this time. Still no cell phone usage county wide…
Otherwise, the church is generally well, though some members in Calistoga have been evacuated and one lost their home. Still zero to no containment and the air is awful, ashes covering cars, and woodsmoke permeating everything.

Many residents, those who can, have left the area until the smoke clears and the power fully returns. So much of the county is dark and smokey, even in mid-day as well as eerily quiet.

Prayers for all of Napa and Sonoma as we face the long process of rebuilding lives.

From Pastor Shannon Shannon Kimbell-Auth, Kelseyville UMC and Community UMC, Middletown
I just got word from the Clearlake Mayor that they are closing the Grace Evacuation center because no one has gone there. 
In the meantime, Twin Pine is full and can use help with cooking for those of you on that end of the county. Contact Marty 707-230-9223.
The dorms at Clearlake UMC have been offered as a rest place for first providers. Contact Peggy O Day 798-7986. or Don Ferris 391-6980.
The sanctuary at Middletown UMC has been offered as a rest place for Red Cross workers. Contact Mel Hurley 815-535-7075.
If you are volunteering in a shelter and see someone medically compromised (for example is on oxygen) that you believe needs a safer place to evacuate, and is ambulatory so they can get to and from the bathroom on their own, call me to check on a better placement. Pastor Shannon 707-349-2324.
I have also received a lot of requests for safe travel routes. Please direct folks to check this link:
For updates on the fire go to I find their tweet stream to be updated faster than the incident page, but both can be reached from this address.
Thank you all for your dedication, work, compassion and prayers.
From the Rev. Blake Busick, First UMC Santa Rosa (Yesterday)
We have many people who have shown up at First UMC Santa Rosa at our Montgomery Campus. We have put out a request among our church members for air mattresses and bedding for those who may be staying at the church overnight.

We have many people who have showed up at First UMC Santa Rosa.  We are providing food, prayer and spaces for people.  Many of us have lost our homes and may be spending the night here at our Montgomery campus.  Thank you all for your prayers.
Other Evacuation Centers:

  • Analy High School, 69 Analy Avenue, Sebastopol

  • Crosswalk Community Church in Napa

  • Elks Lodge, 1200 Hastings Rd, Ukiah will be serving breakfast

  • Elsie Allen High School, 599 Bellevue Avenue, Santa Rosa

  • Lawrence Cook Middle School on Sebastopol Road in Santa Rosa

  • Napa County Fairgrounds in Calistoga on Oak Street

  • Napa Valley Junior College on SR-221 south of Imola Ave

  • New Life Christian Fellowship Church in Petaluma, at 1310 clegg street

  • Petaluma Community Center at 320 N. McDowell Boulevard

  • Santa Rosa at Finley Community Center on West College Avenue at Stony Point Road

  • Sebastopol Community Center, 390 Morris Street, Sebastopol

  • Solano Community College on Suisan Valley Road in Fairfield

  • Sonoma Valley High School

Animal Shelters:

  • Napa County Animal Shelter at 942 Hartle Ct, Napa will shelter dogs, cats, rabbits and other household animals

  • Large animals can be taken to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds at 1350 Bennett Valley Road. Access the Fairgrounds via Gate 7 on Aston Ave and Sonoma- Marin Fairgrounds at 175 Fairgrounds Drive in Petaluma.

The California Highway Patrol in Marin notes that anyone who follows their Facebook page from Napa, Sonoma, Lake, or Solano Counties, the emergency operations centers are pushing out information via Nixle. They say the easiest way to get this information is to text your zip code to 888777 to get information such as evacuation orders, emergency shelter locations, and road closures.

Fire Update as of 10/9/17 at 3:30 p.m.

At the present time, two California-Nevada Conference pastors have been evacuated.  Three churches are serving as evacuation centers:
Novato UMC
1473 S. Novato Blvd.
Novato, CA 94947
(415) 892-9896
Petaluma UMC
410 D Street
Petaluma, CA 94952
(707) 762-9785
First UMC
1551 Montgomery Drive
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
(707) 545-3863
We'll continue to update as we receive more information from pastors and churches.

Steve Elliott
Conference Disaster Response & UMVIM Coordinator (Director)
(925) 640-9797

Jessie Conklin
Young People’s and Camping/Retreat Ministries and Disaster Response/Volunteers in Mission
(916) 374-1528