By Alan Carasso
With wildfires raging through the Wine Country of Northern California, the County of Sonoma has declared the Sonoma County Fairgrounds an official evacuation center as of 8 p.m. PDT Monday, according to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds website. Small and large animals are being accepted.
According to a post on the website, those with large animals are instructed to enter the Fairgrounds via gate 7 off Aston Avenue. Those seeking shelter with small animals are advised to park in the Brookwood parking lot and enter the grounds via the Brookwood gates, then to proceed to Finley Hall. Pet owners are asked to remain with their animals. All others are asked to check into the Grace Pavilion.
The website post lists the following instructions:
- Make sure animals have halters, lead ropes and water buckets.
- Make sure animals are identified. If your animal does not have their name on its halter, put duct tape on it with its name and your phone number or write your phone number on the animal.
- If you have time, please load some feed on your trailers. While you may have feed delivered to the Fairgrounds, its delivery can be delayed if roads and highways are closed.
- Pack general first aid supplies, such as antiseptic ointments and bandaging materials.
Any driver hauling evacuated animals must complete an emergency evacuation information package and animal care check list, and it is highly recommended that such documentation be downloaded and completed prior to arrival.
Internet is currently down at the Fairgrounds and cell phone reception is reported to be weak. Landlines are functioning and Fairgrounds personnel can be reached at 707-545-4200.
According to CNN, more than a dozen wildfires have resulted in 11 deaths and 1500 homes burned in Northern California. Much of the city of Santa Rosa has suffered extensive damage.
The Sonoma County Fairgrounds (Santa Rosa) plays host to three weekends of Thoroughbred racing on the Northern California fair circuit in August.