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Sonoma County Starts New Programs To Prepare For Fire Season

Victims of the Tubbs Fire
Derrick Story
Flickr / Creative Commons
Victims of the Tubbs Fire

Sonoma County’s experienced a major wildfire almost every year over the last five years. This year, the county is taking new steps to prepare the region ahead of fire season.

Sonoma County is getting ready in a few different ways.

First, the county is starting a program that will assess more than 5,000 properties for wildfire safety. And, thanks to a grant from FEMA, it can help pay for the changes the assessments recommend. To see if your property is eligible for an assessment, go to SoCoAdapts.org.

Second, the county is launching more public education programs in rural west Sonoma to help residents identify the dead trees and brush that help wildfires spread. If they’re found, the Department of Transportation can coordinate a chipper to come get rid of them. To learn more about the chipper program, go here.

Third, the Department of Emergency Management is installing six new cameras that use new technology to automatically send alerts to emergency staff when fires are spotted.

And finally, in the coming months the department will conduct practice evacuations with residents in two unincorporated areas of the county.

These measures come shortly after the state passed a half-billion dollar wildfire resilience package to protect high-risk communities around the state.

For more information on how to prepare for wildfires in Sonoma County, visit socoemergency.org.

Annelise was born and raised in the East Bay and has a background in oral history and urban studies. For the last four and half years, she's worked as a criminal defense investigator at a public defenders office in the Bronx, New York and at an appellate defenders office in the Bay Area. As an investigator, she frequently interviews people involved in different parts of the criminal punishment system. Through her work, she has become passionate about the power of personal narratives and compelling stories to increase cross-cultural understanding and initate change.