Use our step-by-step guide and our June 15 workshop to develop and fine-tune your fire weather plan. Identify your trigger for leaving the hills. Decide where you will go. Identify evacuation routes
Use our step-by-step guide and upcoming workshop to make your household’s fire weather plan so you’ll know how to respond to unpredictable and rapidly changing fire conditions.
Fire weather plans are even more important now as the severity and frequency of wildfires have increased. In addition, when the Berkeley Fire Department identifies rare days of "Extreme Fire Weather," the department advises that hills residents all have plans to leave early.
Download our step-by-step guide to create your fire weather plan, which will help you:
- Identify your trigger for leaving the hills
- Decide where you will go
- Identify evacuation routes
Making plans to leave the hills during periods of "Extreme Fire Weather" puts you in the most control and is the best way to ensure your safety. Take control before a fire starts.
Workshops: Fire Weather Planning
Our Office of Emergency Services has created a workshop for you to join a group discussion on ways to improve your Household Fire Weather Plan.
Register to attend:
- Wednesday, June 15, 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m., Register online.
We will discuss ways to improve our household's customized plans for what to do during fire weather and wildfire evacuations. We’ll have more workshops in the coming months.
Make your own Fire Weather plan
Making a fire weather plan is something each household can do on their own. We've created a step-by-step guide to help you. The plan will help you identify your trigger to leave, decide where you'll go and identify evacuation routes on foot and by car.
When will you go?
One question every household needs to ask is will you wait to evacuate after fire starts, or will you leave during periods of heightened threat?
If you live in Fire Zone 2 or 3 in the Berkeley hills, the Berkeley Fire Department recommends that you leave during Extreme Fire Weather, before a fire starts.
Leaving early gives you the most control over how you will get down the hill and what you can bring. If you leave after a fire starts, you may not be able to get out with your car, so you must be prepared to evacuate on foot.
Where will you go?
Whether you plan to leave early or after a fire starts, think ahead of time about where you'll stay. Talk to friends and family who you might be able to stay with, or consider putting aside money to stay in a hotel.
In an evacuation, we will set up mass care sites for those who have no place to go, but these will take time to set up and will rarely be your most comfortable option.
Which routes will you take if by foot or by car?
Choose at least two routes by foot and two by car. For driving routes, focus on main roads that connect with major streets and highways. Bigger roads will have more space during an evacuation.
If available, footpaths generally offer more direct walking routes downhill than city streets. Berkeley Path Wanderers sells a high-quality, durable map that includes footpaths. Consider purchasing a copy for your go-bag and highlighting potential routes in advance.
Taking these steps to make your household’s fire weather plan will help you take control before a fire starts.
Wildfires are now more frequent, destructive, and fast-moving than ever. As Berkeley residents, we must change how we prepare and respond.
- Fire Weather and Evacuation Page
- Household Fire Weather Planning Tool
- Wildfire Readiness Video Series