Pay attention to local air quality reports. As smoke gets worse, the concentration of particles in the air increases – and so should the steps you take to protect yourself. Air quality reports are available through local news media, your local air agency or on airnow.gov.
Dust masks aren’t enough! Paper “dust” masks or surgical masks will not protect your lungs from the fine particles in wildfire smoke. Scarves or bandanas (wet or dry) won’t help, either. Particulate masks known as N-95 or P-100 respirators will help, but they must fit well and be used correctly. They are sold at many hardware and home repair stores and online.
Additionally, Gov. Brown has proclaimed an emergency for Solano, Sonoma, Napa, Yuba, Solano, Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Nevada and Orange counties. California fire victims will be eligible for assistance in the form of income- and property-tax relief for individuals and businesses in most affected counties and federal grants and loans for those in Sonoma and Napa counties.
Check the agencies below for assistance available to fire victims:
Internal Revenue Service – IRS Gives Tax Relief to Victims of California Wildfires; Extension Filers Have Until Jan. 31 to File. This includes the Jan. 16, 2018 deadline for making quarterly estimated tax payments. For individual tax filers, it also includes 2016 income tax returns that received a tax-filing extension until Oct. 16, 2017. The IRS noted, however, that because tax payments related to these 2016 returns were originally due on April 18, 2017, those payments are not eligible for this relief.
Franchise Tax Board – The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) today announced special tax relief for California taxpayers impacted by wildfires. Affected taxpayers are granted an extension to file 2016 California tax returns and make payments until January 31, 2018.
State Board of Equalization – You may be eligible to have your property value re-assessed. Owners of damaged property also can apply to have their next property tax payment deferred without penalty or interest until the county assessor has reassessed the property and sent the owner a corrected bill. Contact your local County Assessor for additional information.
In this section, you will find information on the many ways my office can help you and your family. Below is a list of the issues we commonly address. If you cannot find what you're looking for, please either email me or call my Palo Alto District Office and we will do our best to answer any questions you may have.