SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — Sonoma County has released evacuation zone maps for unincorporated areas to help residents be ready for an emergency.
Close to 200,000 people in Sonoma County were ordered to evacuate their homes during the Kincade Fire in 2019.
With an early start to fire season, residents are urged to learn their zones and have a plan.
The Kincade Fire caused widespread evacuations throughout Sonoma County. It broke out 9:30 in the evening on October 23, 2019.
Bill Herrick was one of tens of thousands of residents who had to flee their home — and he’s been evacuated four times over the last two years.
“Don’t be brazen,” Herrick said. “I know a lot of people when I lived in Florida who are just like we’re not going and they end up having to leave when it’s too late and the roads are packed. I know people are like that with fires too so be safer than sorry.”
Herrick lived through hurricanes in Florida and it helped him prepare for wildfires in California.
“Have a plan. Absolutely have food, have comfy stuff to wear in case it gets cold at night which it does sometime,” he said. “The Kincade Fire was in October and it was cold at night and I did not prepare for that so I was a little chilly at night.”
It’s exactly what Sonoma County officials are urging every resident to do.
The county released evacuation maps ahead of peak fire season.
Maps can be found on Sonoma County’s website. You type in your address or zip code or click on your town or city.
County emergency officials say residents need to write down their zone number to help better understand the level of risk to their property when emergency arises.
The county has experienced back to back devastating wildfires since the Tubbs Fire in 2017.
The fountain grove neighborhood in Santa Rosa was virtually wiped out and still rebuilding.
Herrick learned a few lessons along the way.
“Even before they come knocking on your door, telling you to go, just go,” he said. “When you hear there’s a fire just go. Don’t risk it.”
And emergency officials are also urging residents to set up multiple alerts Nixle, text alert from the county, apps.