One month after the most destructive wildfires in California history destroyed more than 5,000 Sonoma County homes, state and federal emergency officials are beginning the complicated task of moving displaced residents into government-sponsored travel trailers, mobile homes and other temporary living situations as the community sets its sights on long-term rebuilding, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
In the short term, FEMA plans to house fire victims in travel trailers at up to 80 spots in the Sonoma County Fairgrounds’ RV park in Santa Rosa. The county Board of Supervisors has authorized an additional 120 spots at the fairgrounds should the need arise.
At the same time, emergency officials are investigating whether they can put transitional housing on several other public sites around Santa Rosa and in the Sonoma Valley, and they’re prepared to deploy 1,000 trailers and mobile homes to house California fire victims. Officials say they can secure even more temporary living units if they’re needed.
“What we don’t want to do is just build a park or drop a bunch of units at a location, and then after you make the calls no one goes there,” said Ryan Buras, director for the national qualification system at FEMA. “Then you help no one. We’re making sure that we match the resource with the need.”
FEMA has already moved one travel trailer for a fire victim to the fairgrounds and hopes to bring an additional 24 there this week or next, according to Buras. The agency is ready to quickly secure as many as 500 trailers from around California to house residents displaced by the fires, he said.
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