Hello. I’m Mayor Susan Seaman. As I’ve shared with you in my previous communications, the City of Eureka is continuing to work tirelessly to support the health and well-being of our citizens, our community, and our economy during the COVID-19 pandemic and other matters of great significance to the region — like the wildfires that have engulfed our neighbors and are encroaching on Humboldt County.
First, our thoughts are with the Humboldt Bay Fire crews who are assisting with nearby fires. Engine 8117 is currently on assignment to protect the area of Kettenpom from the Hopkins Fire. Engine 8136 remains on assignment providing coverage for CAL FIRE in Weott. And even though there’s no indication that we’re at risk from existing wildfires, our crews at home have had a very active week, fighting several fires including one where a family lost their home. We thank all of them for their service and wish those who are away a safe and speedy return. It seems fitting that today is 9/11 – a day that is remembered not only as a tragedy, but as a tribute to first responders who courageously face life threatening situations for the safety of their community.
We’re a small community and what happens nearby is felt by all of us. This week has been one filled with grief for the loss that our neighbors to the north, south, and east of us are experiencing. I spent yesterday at the Red Cross where their office was bustling with volunteers arranging for lodging for evacuees, planning meals and making other plans to address the immediate needs for this disaster.
When things feel out of control, playing a part to help mitigate a disaster and ease somebody’s mind on one of their worst days is life affirming. It’s also really important work. The reality is that this is not the last disaster we will experience and the Red Cross can still use a crew of reliable volunteers. Please consider being a Red Cross volunteer – not just for this emergency, but for the next one. Find more information at redcross.org.
And, please remember that you will see many people from out of our area in town right now. Many of those are evacuees from the fires. Be sure to extend a friendly welcome and show them why this place is great. We’re using VisitEureka.com to educate visitors and temporary residents on what they need to do to visit our community safely.
We are a resilient and caring community. We rally together to make those from outside our community feel welcome. It makes me proud to see how we can all work together for the common good.
Finally, the topic that seems to be on top of mind this week has been our ominous orange skies. They are not only reminders of the fires around us, but a visual cue about the air quality. Currently, we are experiencing unhealthy levels, making it unwise to participate in outdoor activities. For the past several months, many people have found a little peace from the stress of COVID 19 by jogging, walking or gardening. It would not be surprising to find that you or your family members are more irritable than usual without those outlets. Maybe this is the time to allow a big messy art project or a quiet movie during the day to allow some stress relief if things get too tense. Whatever you decide to do, be patient with yourself and your family. Everybody is doing their best to function in really trying circumstances.
Again, I’m Mayor Susan Seaman, and I appreciate your attention to this message. Be safe, stay healthy, be patient with yourself and kind to your neighbors and family. We’ll talk again soon.