Above, a San Mateo firefighter fights a blaze in the North Bay. Photo from the San Mateo Fire Department’s Twitter page.
BY EMILY MIBACH
Daily Post Staff Writer
Cities on the Peninsula have been working on ways to help victims of the Wine Country fires as some return to their homes — or what is left of them. Cities have sent donated goods and firefighters. Here is a brief rundown of what some are doing.
City Manager Jim Keene said at Monday’s council meeting that the city has sent two engines to the fires along with city employees from animal services, and emergency dispatchers, firefighters and police officers to help out.
City spokeswoman Claudia Keith said the city has received many questions from residents about where to donate. On the city’s website there is a list of organizations that need assistance with the fires.
Those interested can go to http:// bit.ly/2gihKW5.
Vice Mayor Matt Grocott is working on long-term ways to help out North Bay city governments and residents. Grocott said he is in the early stages of reaching out to mayors and vice mayors on the Peninsula to coordinate long-term efforts to help with cleanup and then rebuilding.
Grocott said when he helped with rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, the organizer sometimes had a plethora of volunteers and other times had none, so he wants to get cities, religious groups and any other service and citizen groups to get together and organize when they can go up to help.
Grocott said he is working with City Manager Jeff Maltbie to create an internet portal for city officials in affected cities like Santa Rosa or Napa to put in their needs so that the Peninsula organizations can respond accordingly.
Grocott also mentioned that Maltbie is working on a way for city planning departments in the area to help North Bay cities with the flood of planning documents that are expected to come during the rebuilding process.
For more information, Grocott asks people to email him at [email protected].
The city has been collecting donations for victims and last Friday Mayor Kirsten Keith dropped off the first load to a Santa Rosa shelter. Keith said that the first round of donations filled the entire trunk and back passenger seats of the car used to drop deliver the donations.
Keith said people brought everything from blankets to shoes, to dog food to toothpaste to help residents rebuild their lives.
“Some of these families lost everything except for what’s on their backs. It’s just so tragic,” Keith said.
Those who want to donate can leave items in a bin located in the lobby at City Hall at 701 Laurel St.
On Monday, the City Council discussed ways to help residents find the best charities to donate to. The city will be posting a link on its website (www.cityofsanmateo.org) sometime today, according to City Clerk Patrice Olds.
Councilwoman Maureen Freschet suggested a community challenge or pledge drive to encourage residents and city employees to donate.
“People like to do these challenges,” Freschet said. “And the North Bay will be needing a lot (of help) for a long time.”
City Manager Larry Patterson said that the city’s joint fire department with Belmont and Foster City sent four engines to the fires. The city also sent four police offi-cers and a police sergeant to help.