US Wildfires Destroyed over 7,000 Homes

US Wildfires Destroyed over 7,000 Homes

The latest word out of Madison’s contacts close to the Softwood Lumber negotiations Tuesday is that — in advance of the next looming ‘gap period’ this time on the anti-dumping duty — there will be some kind of announcement out of US Commerce dept regarding:

” sources are conveying that the AD/CVD aligned Final Determination publication date is being pushed up to as early as the end of this week, or next Tuesday at the latest
Jones & Jones Customs Brokers and Trade Consultants
Email for Release: jnjrelease@joneschb.com
J&J Website: www.joneschb.com

However, more than the duty the immediate disruption coming fast for Canadian and US softwood lumber producers is the supply shortage of merchantable logs following the epic and disastrous wildfires across northwest North America this summer.

Approximately 100,000 people in California have been evacuated from wildfire zones, and some 7,000 houses and buildings have been destroyed, said the New York Times.

NORTH AMERICA WILDFIRE DAMAGE UPDATE: OCTOBER 2017

Approximately 100,000 people in California have been evacuated from wildfire zones, and some 7,000 houses and buildings have been destroyed, said the NY Times.

In the five-year period ending in 2014, California added 544,000 households, but only 467,000 housing units, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, and the deficit is only expected to grow over the next decade. Napa and Sonoma Counties, where the fires did some of the most extensive damage, are among the furthest behind, building less than half the number of units in recent years that the state reckons were needed to keep up with the population.

California Wildfires Still Burning

Though progress has been made on the big fires, much more work is ahead.

The 48,000-plus acre Atlas fire in Napa and Solano counties was 45 per cent contained October 13 — up from 3 per cent the day earlier, said CNN. The 44,000-acre Nuns fire in Sonoma County — an amalgamation of three recently merged fires north and west of Glen Ellen — was 5 per cent contained.

The 34,000-acre Tubbs fire in Napa and Sonoma counties was 44 per cent under control. The 34,000-acre Redwood and Potter fires in Mendocino County were 10 per cent contained. Details on that:

  • More than 2,800 residences in Santa Rosa were destroyed by wildfires, Mayor Chris Coursey said October 12. The number of destroyed structures in the state went up the next day by 2,200 to 5,700, Cal Fire said.
  • Wildfires have burned more than 221,000 acres throughout California; 17 wildfires remained Friday, Cal Fire said.

  • About 34,000 utility customers were without electricity service — and natural gas service to 47,000 customers has been shut off — mostly in Sonoma and Napa counties, the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said that Friday.

A total of 235 people were reported missing in Sonoma County alone, where a fire wiped out many homes in Santa Rosa, a city of about 175,000 people some 50 miles northwest of San Francisco.


POWER LINE COLLAPSE

Current Conditions as of October 17:
  • 
Recent reports have cited PG&E’s power lines as a possible cause of some of the current wildfires in the state’s wine country.
  • PG&E responded Wednesday by saying it won’t speculate on the causes of the fires but “will cooperate with the reviews by any relevant regulator or agency.”
PG&E’s parent company acknowledged in a regulatory filing Friday with the SEC that the causes of the fires are being investigated by Cal Fire, adding that the probe includes “the possible role of power lines and other facilities” of its utility subsidiary.

FOLKS RETURNING HOME

 Cal Fire incident commander Bret Gouvea told reporters at a news conference Wednesday afternoon that within the last 24 hours authorities were able to repopulate more than 6,100 people in Sonoma County to areas they were previously
evacuated, according to CNBC.
More than 220,000 acres have burned in 13 major fires and destroyed 6,700 homes and other structures, including wineries.

REBUILDING BUT SLOWLY

 
Meantime, the rebuilding process also could be complicated due to insurance claims issues as well as regulations and a shortage of contractors. There’s also a worry the loss of so many homes could worsen the state’s housing supply crunch and the affordability crisis in Northern California.

“They just saw their housing stock drop by 3 percent because of this disaster,” said Christopher Thornberg of Beacon Economics in Los Angeles.
“This is a huge issue. California’s biggest problem now is a lack of housing.”

LOSSES CALCULATED SO FAR

 
As of that Tuesday night, Cal Fire reported that the Nuns fire and Tubbs fire—the two remaining blazes nearest to Santa Rosa— were both 91 per cent contained, said Curbed San Fransisco.
While that progress is encouraging, the Sonoma County city has already seen neighbourhoods destroyed, which, on top of the immediate humanitarian crisis, will exacerbate the city’s existing housing shortage.
The Sacramento Bee projects that fires destroyed roughly 6,700 homes and businesses in Santa Rosa alone.
The US Census estimated in 2016 that Santa Rosa had a population of 175,155 people. In 2010 the city’s housing stock measured at only 67,396 units. More recent census surveys haven’t updated this figure.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) said — before the fires — Santa Rosa has an unmet rental demand of more than 1,700 units over the next three years, but has only 200 new rental homes under construction.
“The average sales price of a home in Santa Rosa for 2015 was US$504,125,” according to the city’s 2017 profile report, having risen every year since 2011.
The city previously hoped to add nearly 3,000 new units in the near term but approved fewer than 300 in 2016, according to Santa Rosa’s Planning and Economic Development team.
Meanwhile, the city’s population grew by over 1,000 annually during the last seven years, according to Curbed San Fransisco.

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