3 years since deadly Tubbs Fire

Wildfires

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KRON) – Today marks the three year anniversary of the deadly Tubbs Fire that tore through the North Bay.

One of the hardest hit areas was the Coffey Park neighborhood in Santa Rosa.

Santa Rosa with a look at the rebuilding process.

About 97-percent of the neighborhood is rebuilt. That’s roughly 1,300 homes.

It was the night of October 8th, 2017 when the Tubbs Fire ignited. It ravaged parts of Napa, Lake, and Sonoma counties.

The city of Santa Rosa suffered great losses.

“There’s so many things that are in place now with the fire cams, cal fire being pre-stationed during the red flag warnings, all those types of things that if it gets to us Coffey Park isn’t a concern, the whole county is a concern,” Jeff Okrepkie said. “There’s also mitigation that can be done to help those in the surrounding areas.”

Jeff Okrepkie lost his home in the Coffey Park neighborhood, the community was virtually wiped out. Three years later, the neighborhood mostly rebuilt with mandatory codes to make homes safer from wildfires.

“Fire sprinklers, outside alarms, if the fire sprinklers go off there’s this loud school bell that goes outside of the home. backflow devices,” Okrepkie said.

Front yards are filled with bark and less shrubberies and trees.

The Tubbs Fire was active for 123 days, burning more than 36,000 acres, consuming more than 5,600 homes. 

Cal Fire says the cause was electrical from a private system adjacent to a home. 22 people died.

At the Glass Fire press briefing Thursday, Cal Fire took a moment of silence to remember the fire victims from 2017.

The Glass Fire torched Napa and Sonoma counties, Santa Rosa hit again, destroying homes in the Skypark neighborhood, an area between the burn scars of the nuns and Tubbs Fire.

Okrepkie has since rebuilt and started ‘Coffey Strong’ a neighborhood recovery group, he had this message for those impacted by recent wildfires:

“It may seem overwhelming, it may seem like a lot and emotionally it can be at times but as we’ve seen in our neighborhood you can get through it,” Okrepkie said. “Don’t try to do it alone, whether that is leaning on friends or professional help or family, find a support system, build your own support system and support structure and you can get through it.”

Coffey Park residents volunteered to assist those impacted by the Kincade, LNU and Glass Fires.

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