August 21, 2020

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Disclaimer: This transcript is a back-translation of the Latent Interpretation and is not intended to be a verbatim reproduction of the original message.  For questions, comments, and feedback, please email  Thank you!

VIDEO DESCRIPTION:  Deaf Interpreter, Romduol Ngov, a Khmer genderfluid person with light skin and black hair, wearing an olive/dark brown short sleeve shirt, sitting in front of a black background, looking at the camera.


IMAGE DESCRIPTION:  Picture Governor Newsom standing in front of an American and California state flag, looking at the camera.  White Text: Governor Newsom, Press Conference, August 21, 2020. White text at the bottom: This video made possible by support from NorCal Services for Deaf & Hard of Hearing with dark blue logo spells NORCAL with Empower (purple). Educate (teal). Elevate (green). Above the logo.

DEAF INTERPRETER:  Hi.  My name is Romduol.  This is the latent interpreting of a presentation that happened today, August 21, 2020.  The press conference has two parts.  The first part has presentations by individuals who are sheriffs, firefighters, and various government officials who gave updates about the specific topic of the fires that are happening now in Northern California.   The second part includes different politicians such as senators and Governor Newsom.  They discuss different plans about how they will be supporting the firefighters and other first responders.  They will discuss plans on how to contain the fires.

SPEAKER: I begin today’s press conference with a focus on what is going on with the fires in Northern California.

IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Picture of a thermometer with red mercury rising against a bright orange sky and blurry yellow/orange sun.

SPEAKER: What has been causing the fires?  It has been hot in California with the hot sun drying up the land.   This means that plants and trees can easily catch fire.

VIDEO DESCRIPTION: Video of a fireball next to a road with lights with the wind blowing pushing the fire closer to the roadway.

SPEAKER: Also, winds make it very easy for the fires to spread very quickly.  And, also, there have been a lot of lightning strikes.

IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Picture of the night sky with several blasts of white lightning stretching from the sky to the earth causing sparks.

SPEAKER: Those strikes have started many fires.  It is a very serious issue.  We will be showing a map of Northern California now so that you can see where the fires are happening.

IMAGE DESCRIPTION: White map of California with red hot spots in eastern parts and western parts of the state where fires are located, gray areas showing fire zones, and names of cities specifying locations on the map.

SPEAKER: You can see on the map two zones – the East Zone and the West Zone.  In the West Zone on the map, you’ll see two circles – one small circle and one larger circle.  The smaller circle is the Myers Fire.


SPEAKER: Firemen are there now to work on containing that fire.  It seems that things are under control there.   The larger circle is the Walbridge Fire.


SPEAKER: That fire is spreading towards Guerneville.


SPEAKER: That fire is large and firefighters are working very hard to try to contain that fire.  They are using firemen, planes, and other resources to try to contain that fire.  In the East Zone, there is a huge fire happening right now in Hennessey.


SPEAKER: That one is a HUGE fire burning a lot of lands. In all of California, the size of the fires, in total, beats the size of the state of Rhode Island. In the southern part of that fire in the areas of Yolo County and Solano County,


SPEAKER: the firefighters seem to be able to contain the southern border of that fire.  In the northern part of the same fire, near Highway 16, the fires are spreading to the sacred lands of indigenous people.  That fire is raging.  Firefighters, sheriffs, and other resources have been sent to try to contain that fire.

IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Picture of helicopter flying over mountain area spraying orange content to control the fire.

SPEAKER: The sheriff department has been sent to help people safely evacuate from that area.  It is a serious situation there.

IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Picture of a multi-lane highway with several lines of cars with headlights on at night and behind the cars you see a mountain that is fully ablaze with orange flames.

SPEAKER: It is important that if you live in the affected areas and you are warned that you might have to evacuate, it is suggested that you go ahead and pack a ready-to-go bag.

IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Clip art of a white rectangle at the top text: Wildfire Evacuation Checklist. Below that is a teal square with an image of a dog next to that is a dark gray square with white text: People and Pets. Under the dog is a yellow square with an image of paper and a pen. Next to that is a dark gray square with white text: Papers and Important Documents. Under the paper/pen is a teal square with an image of prescription pills. Next to that is a dark gray square with white text: Prescriptions/Meds and Eyeglasses.

SPEAKER: Your to-go bag should include important documents like your identification, your original birth certificate, your immigration paperwork (if any) and the card with your social security number on it.  You should also pack clothes, water, medicine and other important things that you would absolutely need.  And then if you get the notice to evacuate immediately, you have your bag ready to go.  Don’t wait until the last minute to pack this bag.  You don’t want to wait until you are told to absolutely leave your home now.  The reason is that there may already be firefighters working to put out fires in your area but may have to wait (and lose time) because there are people who have not yet left their homes.  So it is important to pack your bag as soon as you get a warning of a possible evacuation.  If you see flashing lights/sirens and you see the sheriff department telling people to leave now, follow their orders to leave immediately!  Don’t wait!  Leave immediately!  If you want more information about what is going on, you can look at social media.

IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Close up of smartphone with several apps lit up including logo for Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Telegram, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and more.

SPEAKER: For example, you can look at Facebook, Instagram, and other outlets.  You can look for more information about if there are any fires close to where you live.  You can find out if there are any evacuation warnings or any evacuation orders to leave immediately.  It is important to look and pay attention to these details.  If firefighters or the sheriff department give you specific orders, it is important that you follow the orders exactly.  We are working really hard to try to contain the fires.  We know that you want the fires to be contained so that you may return home.  We are working very hard to make this happen. In the meantime, it is important that everyone listens and follows what we tell you to do, exactly.

IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Picture of the back of a fire truck with several people in protective gear and plainclothes running and walking in different directions.

SPEAKER: We have had over 500 people yesterday to help with the firefighting.  And, now, today, we have doubled that number to more than 1,000 people focusing on firefighting.  They are working very hard to contain these fires.  We are calling in more people to help with this effort.  We are doing our best to contain these fires so that people can return to their homes.  Thank you for your patience.

IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Politicians sitting or standing in two rows: all men, dressed in a suit and a tie, some wearing masks, some looking down at their phones, and some sitting looking at someone off-camera.


DEAF INTERPRETER: Now, in the second part of the video, we have different politicians like senators and Governor Newsom talking about what their plans are before, now and going forward regarding the fires.

GOVERNOR NEWSOM: First, before we go forward discussing the plans, we want to take a moment to remember the four people who have died so far with the fires.  Our hearts go to their loved ones.  Three of those individuals are from Napa County.  One individual is from Solano County.  None of the four are firefighters.  It is important that if you get a warning to evacuate, go ahead and pack your bags.  Once you get the order to leave immediately, then do just that – leave RIGHT AWAY!  Don’t wait!  And if firefighters or the sheriff department gives you specific orders to follow, follow them exactly.  If you see fire and/or smoke and you are not sure if you should leave or not, we encourage you to go ahead and leave your area.  We are doing our very best to contain these fires so that you can return home as soon as possible.  You might be concerned about whether or not there is enough money in the state budget to cover COVID-19 related issues and now the fires.  You might be concerned about whether or not there are enough firefighters and other resources.  We are happy to share the news that we have received federal money to help with this effort.  Some of this federal money is to address containing the fires.  Another portion of this federal money is to be used to address COVID-19.   And a third portion of the federal money is to be used as savings in case there is another emergency that California needs to address.  We have been in touch with many other states.  Ten states from all across America have committed to sending firefighters, police officers, sheriff deputies, trucks and planes to California to help with this effort to contain these fires. We thank these ten states for their support. Also, Canada has pledged its support.    We have a wonderful partnership with Canada.  They have helped us in the past.  We have helped them in the past.  And now they are helping us once again.  Also, it seems that the situation with the fires in Southern California is improving.  This means they will be able to send some of their resources like firefighters up here to Northern California to assist with the firefighting effort here.  Also, many staff members have been laid off from prisons.  We are calling them to assist with the fire containment effort.  Is this enough?  No, we will continue to work hard.  We have recently hired 830 new firefighters.  We have also contacted EMAC, which is an emergency management assistance group.  So, we are still working hard.  On to our third point,  I also want to thank the President and the Trump Administration.  We have signed a pact to support the U.S. Forest Service.  The purpose is to identify any hotspots and take measures to prevent these hotspots from starting wildfires.  We thank his administration for the support.   I know it might seem contradictory to praise the President after he sent a tweet that was criticizing California.  But, regardless, we hope he is aware that his administration has supported our work here in California.  My next point is to say, I know some people are concerned that if there are any mass evacuations and people flocking to evacuation centers.  How will this be handled with the pandemic going on right now?  Also, with people coming in from out of state and Canada to help with the firefighting efforts, how will we make sure that COVID-19 numbers don’t rise?  Not to worry.  We have a plan.  We will be setting up tents and various hotels and making sure we keep people separated so that we don’t have any outbreaks.  We have been working with medical professionals to make sure we can continue our firefighting efforts and at the same time, make sure COVID-19 numbers do not rise. Thank you for watching it.  Be sure to keep yourself updated with the latest news. You can keep yourself informed by looking at social media such as Facebook, Instagram, etc, or call to get information.  You can check websites for further information.  Thank you.

FULL SCREEN IMAGE DESCRIPTION: This video made possible by support from NorCal Services for Deaf & Hard of Hearing with dark blue logo spells NORCAL with Empower (purple). Educate (teal). Elevate (green). Above the logo.

Disclaimer: This transcript is a back-translation of the Latent Interpretation and is not intended to be a verbatim reproduction of the original message.  For questions, comments, and feedback, please email   Thank you!