For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, PIO, City Manager's Office, (510) 981-7008

20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE 1991 BERKELEY-OAKLAND HILLS FIRESTORM: HONOR AND PREPARE FOR A FIRE-SAFE FUTURE

Berkeley, California (Thursday, October 20, 2011) - The Cities of Berkeley and Oakland have joined with other community partners to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Berkeley-Oakland Hills Firestorm. The fire burned for three long days, killed 25 people, and destroyed 3,354 homes-- 63 of which were in Berkeley.

Residents and City workers alike have not forgotten the devastation, or how emergency crews came from all over the state to help fight the fire and keep it from spreading to other residential neighborhoods. Memories of that fire are still present in the work the City does every day.

If you would like to learn more about how the lessons of the Hills Fire have changed City policy and practices, please visit our“20 Years of Changes” web page.

There are a variety of events being held in Berkeley and Oakland to honor and commemorate the Hills Fire. Below is information about three of them, but more information can also be found at www.CityofBerkeley.info/firestorm20.

EVENTS

10:30 a.m.: Formal Commemorative Ceremony of Remembrance
            Gateway Emergency Preparedness Exhibit Center
            Tunnel Road & Caldecott Lane
Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, Fire Chief Debra Pryor and (former Berkeley Mayor) state Senator Loni Hancock to speak

Noon-4 p.m.: Family Preparedness Fair-- Something for Everyone!
            Lake Temescal, Oakland
            6500 Broadway in Oakland (north entrance)
The Family Preparedness Fair has something for everyone: Fire trucks from several agencies, face-painting, live entertainment for the kids, bouncy houses, barbeque and ice cream booths, and lots of emergency supplies to purchase, or even better, win!

10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Disaster Preparedness Workshop
            King Middle School
            1781 Rose St., Berkeley
The public is invited to attend an informative event that brings officials from the City of Berkeley's Fire Department and Public Health Division together with Alameda County officials to discuss how cities and counties work together to respond to local and regional disasters.

And if you can't make it to one of these events, please go to one of the other events listed below or visit www.CityofBerkeley.info/getready for information on preparing your family, business, home and pets for any disaster.

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