Drought conditions in Oakland and the East Bay aren’t as extreme as they were last year at this time, and no major wildfires have yet threatened the Bay Area in 2022. But the explosive Oak Fire that ignited earlier this month and has already consumed close to 20,000 acres in the Sierra foothills near Yosemite is a reminder that California is firmly in the midst of yet another wildfire season.

Hopefully, other wildfires that are almost certain to occur elsewhere in Northern California and across the state in the coming weeks won’t be as destructive or widespread as they have been in recent years, and Oakland will be spared from fires in our own hills and smoky days, which pose a serious health risk.

But if these things do occur, it will help to be prepared. To that end, we’ve updated our comprehensive guide to wildfire season in Oakland and the East Bay. It’s designed to be a one-stop shop for resources and answers to your most important questions about fire season, from home preparation to evacuation instructions to what masks offer the most protection against wildfire smoke and much, much more.

We hope you’ll bookmark it, share it, and refer to it often. And if you notice anything in the guide that is outdated or know of information that you think should be included, you can let us know by emailing us at editors@oaklandside.org.

Jacob Simas is Managing Editor of The Oaklandside. He joined us from Univision, where he led social-impact initiatives and established the Rise Up: Be Heard journalism training program at Fusion for young people and community organizers in underserved areas of California. He was a senior editor and director of youth and community media at New America Media, where he led a community news network that amplified student and youth reporting in California news deserts. He is an advisory board member for Youth Beat, a graduate of UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and a former producer with KPFA's First Voice apprenticeship program.