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Redwood City calls on Caltrans to address encampments after fire

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Redwood City officials are calling upon Caltrans and legislative representatives to join them in addressing unsanctioned encampments in the wake of a fire Sunday on Caltrans property.

At 1:35 p.m. Sunday, a fire broke out at an established encampment in the area of Woodside Road and El Camino Real, according to city officials. No injuries were reported but a fence to a four-plex residential property sustained damage. Tents, mattresses and personal property were involved in the fire, but fortunately five propane tanks recovered from the site were not.

While the fire occurred Sunday, the city says the issue of unsafe encampments at Caltrans right-of-ways has been ongoing for months. The city says it has been coordinating with Caltrans about the issue and has also sent civilian outreach workers to provide resources to inviduals staying there. “Representatives from LifeMoves, Downtown Streets Team, and the City’s mental health clinician, Patricia Baker, have all been conducting outreach at this location, as well as to the other encampments at the cloverleaf,” according to the city.

In a statement on behalf of the city, Redwood City Mayor Giselle Hale called upon Caltrans to “come to the table this week with our city and our legislative representatives to develop an immediate plan to protect our community from the health and safety issues created by encampments on their land.”

“We are grateful to our legislators for their collaboration and responsiveness,” the mayor said. “Thankfully, no injuries were sustained as a result of the most recent encampment fire but we need immediate action to prevent future incidents.”