Oakland Wildfire Guide


By Brian Krans and Kate Darby Rauch

Everything you need to know about evacuation, preparation, air quality, power outages, protecting property, and more answers to your questions about wildfire season.

The threat of catastrophic wildfire is nothing new in the Oakland Hills. But hotter, drier weather linked to climate change means fires are more common and more destructive. The Oaklandside has created this guide to help us all do what we can to prepare, stay informed and keep safe during fire season.

Do not rely on this guide during an emergency. In an emergency, follow the instructions of AC Alerts, look up your evacuation zone number and stay tuned to local radio (KCBS 740 AM, KGO 810 AM, or KNBR 680 AM), TV, and Nixle alerts for updated information.

If you see something that’s missing, outdated, or inaccurate in this guide, or have a question that hasn’t been answered, please email us at editors@oaklandside.org.

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This wildfire guide is a collaboration between The Oaklandside and Berkeleyside. It was written by Kate Darby Rauch and Brian Krans, edited by Zac Farber and Jacob Simas, illustrated by T.L. Simons, and designed by Doug Ng. You can read a version of the guide tailored for Berkeley residents on Berkeleyside.

Information overload can be an issue as you plan for emergencies. That’s why we’ve compared information and vetted sources for you, with the aim of providing only credible and recent information. 

Sources used in compiling this guide include: CalFireBerkeley Fire DepartmentOakland Fire DepartmentFEMAAlameda County Fire DepartmentU.S. Forest ServiceNational Interagency Fire CenterNational Wildfire Coordinating GroupU.S. Department of AgricultureNational Weather ServiceNational Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationCenters for Disease ControlPacific Gas & ElectricEast Bay Municipal Utility DistrictEast Bay Regional Park DistrictCalifornia Fire Safe CouncilGovernor’s Office of Emergency ServicesCommunity Emergency Alert TeamsState Council on Developmental DisabilitiesUniversity of California Cooperative ExtensionOakland Animal ServicesBerkeley Disaster Preparedness Neighborhood NetworkAlameda County Office of Emergency ServicesOakland Firesafe CouncilDiablo Firesafe CouncilFIRESafe MarinPublic Health InstituteCalifornia Air Resources BoardBay Area Air Quality Management DistrictAmerican Red CrossZonehavenALERTWildfireCity of Mill ValleyCity of Ross

The image illustrating defensible space in the property section of this guide is adapted from the Wildfire Home Retrofit Guide (publication #SP-20-11) with permission from University of Nevada, Reno Extension and the Living With Fire Program.