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Wildfire Event

Wildfires are a natural part of California’s landscape -- in the last few years, we've experienced the deadliest and most destructive wildfires in our history. Staying informed about wildfires in the region and in our immediate community is one of the best ways to keep yourself and your neighborhood safe.

Sign Up for AC Alerts
Get updates from the City of Oakland and Alameda County via text, phone, or email

Oakland’s history of wildfires is no secret in California. The Oakland firestorm of 1991 was one of the largest urban wildfires in California History, starting on the border of Oakland and Berkeley in the hills. The fire ultimately killed 25 people, injured 150 others, burned 1,520 acres, and destroyed thousands of residences. The high winds, steep terrain, and heavy fuel load made fighting this historic blaze a major challenge.

Pay attention to weather conditions. Fire threat is highest on dry, windy days. When the National Weather Service issues a "Red Flag Warning" we will fly red flags on Fire Station flagpoles and send an AC Alert notification. During a Red Flag Warning, avoid any activities that could cause a spark and make sure your household is ready to rapidly evacuate.

How to PREPARE for Wildfire Events – Ready, Set, Go!

  • Be Ready: Create and maintain defensible space year round and harden your home against flying embers.
  • Get Set: Prepare your family and home ahead of time for the possibility of having to evacuate. Ensure you have a plan of what to take and where to go – evacuation plans will be different this year due to COVID-19. Ask friends or relatives outside your area if you would be able to stay with them, should the need arise. If you do need to evacuate and plan to stay with friends or relatives, ask first if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or have people in their home at higher risk for serious illness. If that is the case, make other arrangements. Check with hotels, motels and campgrounds to learn if they are open.
  • GO! When wildfire strikes, go early for your safety. Take the evacuation steps necessary to give your family and home the best chance of surviving a wildfire.

Be Ready: Prepare your household in advance

Get Set: When fire threatens get set to evacuate

Go! During a fire know how to evacuate

  • Review your Evacuation Plan Checklist.
  • Ensure your Emergency Supply Kit/Evacuation Bag is in your vehicle.
  • Cover-up to protect against heat and flying embers. Wear long pants, long sleeve shirt, heavy shoes/boots, cap, dry bandanna for face cover, goggles or glasses. 100% cotton is preferable.
  • Locate your pets and take them with you.
  • Be aware of your natural surroundings, and follow the directions of fire officials and law enforcement.

After a Fire: Returning home

Do not return to your home until fire officials say it is safe to do so. When you return:

  • Be alert for downed power lines and other hazards.
  • Check your property carefully for hidden embers or smoldering fires for the next 24-72 hours.
  • Document property damage with photographs. Conduct an inventory and contact your insurance company for assistance.

Oakland Community Preparedness and Response (OCP&R)

The Oakland Fire Department is proud to partner with the Oakland Community Preparedness & Response (OCP&R) program which provides awareness, educational workshops, detailed guides and support to help you be better prepared to respond to a wildfire or earthquake disaster, power outage or other emergency.

The OCP&R curriculum covers creating and sustaining organized neighborhoods, understanding emergency alerts and notifications, developing evacuation plans, preparing for and responding to Public Safety Power Shutoffs, hardening homes against wildfire and earthquake threats and much more.

Please visit the OCP&R site to learn more:

Additional Resources

Recourses en Español

Posted: August 28th, 2020 9:31 AM

Last Updated: January 20th, 2021 7:52 PM

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