SANTA ROSA (KPIX 5) — As the Wine Country wildfires wind down, officials in Sonoma County on Tuesday were planning out their recovery efforts.
It was not business as usual at the Sonoma County Supervisors meeting.
But not much in the county is business as usual in the wake of the deadly wildfires that devastated entire neighborhoods.
The focus on Tuesday was facing a new reality and figuring out how to help thousands of fire victims.
“Disasters are the great unifier, and out of catastrophic loss has come a real community of compassion, said County Supervisor Shirlee Zane “We’ve been tested like never before and now we know what we are made of.”
Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano offered some hopeful news Tuesday. Out of more than 1,900 missing persons reports, there are now just 65 outstanding missing cases.
Currently the department has a 60-person search team working on those cases.
“We are doing targeted searches for missing people, following up on the missing persons reports and then we’re doing blanket searches, said Giordano. So whole neighborhoods are getting searched now so we can clear them from anything dangerous or any recoveries we missing so we can get people back in and do those things.”
Though fires still rage on in Wine Country, the work is starting to shift to getting people back in their homes and to recovery.
The Sonoma County assistance center has already helped 1,500 people with services ranging from obtaining lost records to applying for financial assistance.