County of Marin - News Releases - Wildfire Assistance

For Immediate Release
October 10, 2017

Wildfire Assistance Continues in Marin County

Public safety officials provide shelter, supplies to evacuees of North Bay fires

San Rafael, CA (1:05 PM) – The County of Marin continues to provide support to nearby counties affected by the series of wildfires burning throughout the Northern Bay Area. Evacuees from Napa and Sonoma counties have evacuated to Marin County seeking shelter and other resources.


The Marin County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) opened two temporary evacuation shelters in San Rafael on October 9, housing a combined total of 524 people overnight. In addition to meals and basic shelter, Marin County officials provided evacuees with access to animal care, toys and games for children, showers, and medical and behavioral health services. Community-operated shelters in the West Marin area housed an additional 171 evacuees.

A view of a hallway at the emergency shelter.Hundreds of people stayed at the emergency shelter for wildfire evacuees at Marin Center.

On Tuesday, evacuees in need of shelter may report to the Marin Center Exhibit Hall at 10 Avenue of the Flags in San Rafael. Small pets such as dogs and cats are welcome at the temporary shelter.


Donations of clothing, food, household goods and other items are NOT needed at this time. The outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelming and shelters have more supplies than needed. Please do not bring donations to shelter locations.


Volunteers are not needed to report directly to the temporary evacuation shelter at Marin Center Exhibit Hall. Alternatively, individuals should register with the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership’s website at to register as a disaster service worker.


As a result of winds near the fires, air quality is poor all over the San Francisco Bay Area. Smoke from wildfires is expected to continue as the wildfires are not yet contained. People who are at greatest risk of experiencing symptoms are young children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with respiratory conditions (such as asthma or emphysema) or heart conditions. The County advises sensitive populations to stay indoors, avoid prolonged activity, and seek medical help if respiratory symptoms worsen. When smoke levels are high, even healthy people may experience symptoms such as coughing, a scratchy throat, irritated sinuses, shortness of breath, headaches, stinging eyes, and a runny nose.

Health officials recommend the following:

  • All residents should limit outdoor physical activities and stay indoors with windows and doors closed.
  • Outdoor sporting activities for children should be cancelled Tuesday. Limit all other outdoor activities to avoid unnecessary exposure if you smell smoke.
  • Set air conditioning units and car vent systems to re-circulate to prevent outside air from moving inside.

For up to date information about the wildfires, go to the website of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL Fire). For information about air quality, go to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District website.


There are multiple ways to access the latest information about available evacuation shelters and road closures:

Since cell phone service is limited in many areas, the public is encouraged to text your text your zip code to 888777 to get information such as evacuation orders, emergency shelter locations, and road closures.

For people out of the fire zone and can make calls can call 2-1-1 for evacuation, shelter, and other fire related info.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) maintains a website map to show the locations of problem on roads and highways. Marin County residents are urged to stay off roads and highways as much as possible to help first-responders get to destinations where help is needed. 

Information on how to prepare for evacuation can be found at


Marin Humane will provide emergency boarding options for all domestic animals (cats, dogs, etc.) at its main shelter located at 171 Bel Marin Keys Boulevard, Novato. Additional information can be found by calling 415-883-4621 or following Marin Humane’s Facebook and Twitter page.


People who safely escaped the fires can let loved ones know by registering with the Safe and Well registry:

Airbnb is offering zero-cost housing from some hosts in Northern California.


For the latest updates on County of Marin’s response to the Napa and Sonoma fires, follow us on Twitter at @MarinGov, or visit the County’s website at In addition, Marin residents can sign up for emergency alerts from the County for future disasters and emergencies at


County of Marin

Marin County Civic Center
3501 Civic Center Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903