Truckee welcomes evacuees during wildfire season | SierraSun.com

Truckee welcomes evacuees during wildfire season

Hannah Jones
hjones@sierrasun.com

Visit Truckee’s move to offer a $100 discount on lodging in the area as a promotional tool ended up catering to wildfire evacuees and those looking for power during the statewide PG&E shutoffs.

Last week the organization waived the 48-hour notice on a $100 Cash Back lodging offer.

“It just so happened that we had this offer going. Then disasters happened so we added this message of no questions asked,” said Colleen Dalton, director of tourism and economic programs for Visit Truckee. “Every little bit helps, I know $100 is not much.”

After hearing of people displaced from major wildfires like the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County, Dalton said they sent out a message on their social channels about the offer and received positive responses from locals and visitors.

“It was very simple but heartfelt,” she said. “We just waived that 48-hour notice and said no questions asked. We’re here for you. Our hearts go out to you.”

Dalton said local property managers also stepped up to offer their own lodging discounts.

The Kincade fire, which spanned over 77,000 acres in Sonoma County, forced around 180,000 people to evacuate. The fire broke out on Oct. 23, and destroyed 374 structures, including 174 residences, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

In addition to wildfires, residents across Placer and Nevada counties repeatedly lost power as PG&E shut off power to reduce the risk of wildfires. Dalton said she heard stories from those escaping wildfire and smoke or trying to find a place with power.

“We want Visit Truckee to be viewed as a caring, welcoming organization for locals and tourists whether you’re in dire need or just need an escape to nature,” she said.

With natural disasters like wildfires becoming a regular occurrence Dalton said they are looking at how to be better prepared to welcome visitors in desperate need of housing.

“We’re happy to do it,” she said.

Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or hjones@sierrasun.com.