NEWS AND RESOURCES - Northern California Wildfires

October 2017

In a week’s time, an estimated 40,000 people were evacuated across Northern California as wildfires burned through entire neighborhoods. Firefighters battled multiple wildfires as strong winds fueled fast-moving fires. As of Monday, October 16, 2017, 14 large fires were still burning.

Through the news, social media, and personal networks, CAM has gathered the following information about the museums, cultural institutions, and historic sites affected by the fires:

Northern California has a new tagline: “The love in the air is thicker than the smoke”. In response to the devastation, individuals, businesses, and communities across Northern California, the Bay Area, and the state are rallying to support evacuees and victims of the wildfires. Over 18 museums offered free admission to evacuees and those affected by the fires, as places of respite and to escape the smoke-filled air. California State Parks is providing campsites to displaced residents affected by the Northern California fires.

Emergency response networks for museums have been activated. CAM and other statewide groups have been sharing information with the California Preservation Program, Heritage Emergency National Task Force, the American Alliance of Museums, and others. Stay tuned for more information on CAM’s role in California disasters soon. 

Has your museum been affected by the fires? Below are resources for emergency response and recovery.


Disaster Response Online Resources:

“After the Fire: Advice for Salvaging Damaged Family Treasures” – Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration

Museum Conservation Institute - Disaster Resources

American Institute for Conservation’s Emergency Response and Salvage Mobile App

American Alliance of Museums Disaster Response and Resources:

Disaster Assistance/Response:
California Preservation Program – Disaster Assistance
888/905-7737 (emergency response hotline)
Phone consultation is provided at no charge. If phone consultation is not sufficient, on-site assistance can be arranged at minimal or no charge.

American Institute for Conservation's National Heritage Responders
Advice, referrals, or to arrange for a volunteer team to complete a damage assessment and help organize salvage operations.

Balboa Art Conservation Center

Services (water/smoke cleanup/mitigation):
Hayward office: 510/785-3473; 888/543-3473

Polygon (San Francisco District office #505)
800-I-CAN-DRY (422-6379)

Walk in freezer rental (water damage mitigation):
Polar Leasing Company, Inc (Livermore)
877/493-2541 (24/7)

Commercial Freezer Storage:
American Portable Storage (Oakland)
Michael McCurley

Freeze drying:
See BELFOR above

Document Reprocesses (Burlingame)
800/437-9464 (24/7)

Mold/Bacteria Testing:
C&W Environmental (Alameda)
Donald Diel

Do you know of other resources that should be listed here? Contact Emily Todd at or 831-471-9970 x101.