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Community Notebook: Assemblyman Marc Berman holding wildfire town hall Saturday

Event to include panel with representatives from state, local firefighting agencies and PG&E

State Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto, is sponsoring a wildfire town hall meeting this Saturday in Portola Valley that will include a panel made up of representatives from state and local firefighting agencies and PG&E.

"I've had a half-dozen colleagues who have constituents who have been in different fires over the past two years," Berman said. "We need to do more and more to address this new environment we live in."

As part of that process, Berman is sponsoring Saturday's wildfire town hall meeting in Portola Valley, which, along with Woodside, is among the most wildfire-prone areas of his district.

The town hall will be from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Portola Valley Community Hall, 765 Portola Road.

A panel made up of representatives from state and local firefighting agencies and PG&E will discuss what homeowners can do to protect themselves, and what help they can expect from state and local agencies in the event of a wildfire.

Panelists will discuss "home hardening," or making properties more fire-resistant; how fire protection agencies will respond to fires; how alert systems will operate; and the role of statewide mutual aid and the California Office of Emergency Services.

Berman characterized the meeting as "something for people who live all across the district," which includes the southern portion of San Mateo County and the northern area of Santa Clara County.

"The towns, the state, and PG&E will all be at the same place at the same time," Berman said. "We're providing as much information as possible for people worried about fires."

The Portola Valley town hall is the only one scheduled so far, but Berman said his office will be looking at the attendance on Saturday and may be holding other meetings, depending on community interest.

If you plan to attend, you can RSVP at a24.asmdc.org.

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Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Rick Radin writes for The Almanac, the sister publication of PaloAltoOnline.com.

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