Pride Flag

The City of San Rafael celebrates Pride Month


Emergency Update: Wildfires, Power, & COVID

Posted on August 19, 2020

san Rafael is resilient banner

Where to begin? Following severe lightning storms, wildfires are active statewide, many with evacuation orders in place. Smoke and ash from the Woodward Fire, Hennessey Fire, and other regional fires have impacted our air quality here in Marin. AirNow provides reports about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index (AQI). Search your zip code to see the quality of the air in any town. ALERTWildfire provides access to state-of-the-art fire cameras and associated tools to help firefighters and first responders better respond to wildfires. These cameras help discover, scale, and monitor wildfires all over the west coast.

CalFire’s website has been down intermittently due to the amount of people attempting to visit the site. If you need real-time information about evacuations and wildfire spread around the greater Bay Area, check out CalFire’s Facebook page and follow them on TwitterMarin County Fire and San Rafael Fire Twitter accounts continue to provide regular updates, photos, and videos about fires in our surrounding area.

Prepare for an emergency 

ReadyMarin and FireSafeMarin have an abundance of information to best prepare you and your family for an emergency. Being prepared means having your own food, water, and other supplies to last for several days. A disaster supplies kit, or “go-bag,” is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.

Sign up for emergency alerts

Power, heatwaves, & more

PG&E continues to strongly urge customers to conserve energy to help prevent the need for rotating power outages. The state’s electric grid operator, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), issued a Flex Alert through today from 2PM-9PM. What’s a Flex Alert? A Flex Alert is an urgent call to immediately conserve electricity and shift power demand to off-peak hours to ease strain on the electrical grid.

PG&E tips to save energy and reduce usage

  • Raise the thermostat: Cool homes and use air conditioners more during morning hours.
  • Use a ceiling fan: Turn on a ceiling fan when using the air conditioner, which will allow the thermostat to be raised about 4 degrees to save on cooling costs
  • Cover windows: Use shade coverings and awnings so the air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to cool the home.
  • Avoid using the oven: Instead, cook on the stove, use a microwave or grill outside.
  • Limit the opening of refrigerators, which are major users of electricity in most homes. The average refrigerator is opened 33 times a day.
  • Clean clothes and dishes early: Use large energy-consuming appliances like washing machines and dishwashers earlier in the day or late at night after 10 pm.

PG&E has posted the rotation order in which power outages will occur if ordered to turn off power by CAISO. Check the block rotation order, not sure what block you’re on? You can search for your power block number too if you don’t know it.

Residents should take prompt action to prepare by charging cell phones and medical devices, signing up for emergency alerts and Nixle (text your zip code to 888-777), reviewing emergency supplies and conserving electricity by using high energy appliances only during early morning or late-night hours

What about COVID?

Although Marin County remains on the State’s monitoring list, the County has been able to release guidelines for some outdoor personal services. K-6 school levels that meet certain criteria may get a waiver through the County for classroom-based learning following a formal application process. Seventh grade and up can not open to classroom learning until we are off the State’s monitoring list. Furthermore, in preparation for the start of the school year, the County has revised the restrictions on childcare and youth programs, like the size of cohorts, guidelines for athletic programs, and more.

Canal Neighborhood 

The pandemic has disproportionately affected communities of color including the Canal Neighborhood. We’re working with the County to increase accessibility to testing, resources, and support services. Read about the Canal Outbreak Response.

Video Updates 

  • Yesterday at the Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting, Dr. Willis provided an update on the COVID-19 response in Marin County. WATCH
  • Dr. Jei Africa, Director of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, discusses how to manage anxiety for you and your children as we prepare to return to school. WATCH
  • In case you missed it, you can watch the replay of Marin County’s Community Conversation on All Things COVID. WATCH (English) | WATCH (Spanish)
  • Earlier this month, State Senator Mike McGuire held a telephone town hall meeting with Dr. Matt Willis and other health professionals—check out their discussion virus activity, concerns about the coronavirus and flu season overlapping, proper mask use, the status of a potential vaccine, and more. WATCH

Reporting Public Health Order Violations 

Members of the public who witness violations are encouraged to email Please include the business name, address, and as much detail as possible regarding the perceived health order violation.

Visit Marin Recovers Status list for information on business openings and guidelines and the current health order for information on face covering requirements, shelter-in-place and more.

Close window