Everyone is required to stay home, except for essential needs. When out, protect yourself and those around you by wearing a face covering, staying 6 feet away from others, and washing your hands often. Learn more at cityofberkeley.info/covid19. City offices are closed to the public. Some services are available remotely.

The City of Berkeley Health Officer has ordered all residents to shelter at home, leaving only to receive or provide essential services, starting 12:01 am on Tuesday, March 17. See details of the Order, frequently asked questions, and recommendations from Berkeley Public Health at https://www.cityofberkeley.info/coronavirus.

City Council Live Stream: Please visit https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventWebcastMain.aspx

ZAB Live Stream: Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx.

The City of Berkeley web site is undergoing scheduled maintenance starting on Friday night, September 13 and ending on Saturday afternoon, September 14. During this time, most web pages should be available, but some resources may become unavailable for short periods of time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 5/9/19, at 7:00pm? Please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1UAnZ8kU8EWllREyOY7rwQ/. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 2/28/19, from 6:00 to 11:00 PM? Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same date and time.

PG&E is reporting a widespread outage affecting thousands of customers in Berkeley and many City buildings, including the Finance Customer Service Center and the Permit Service Center. Call respective City services for further details, or check the PG&E outage page. Power is expected to return by 12:45pm. Traffic lights that are not working should be treated as a four-way stop sign.

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Fire Department
Fire Department

Wildfire Evacuation

Berkeley hills residents need to be ready to evacuate in a wildfire with or without notice from public safety officials.

Use this page to prepare. Sign up for AC Alert emergency notifications so we can reach you if an evacuation is ordered.

Preparing in advance

Stay informed

  • Know how to get information. In an emergency, we'll send instructions on AC Alert and broadcast them by radio on 1610AM.
  • Know your evacuation zone. Find your zone on the citywide evacuation zone map. (PDF version) Note: web map may contain more up-to-date information.
  • 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 City 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.

Consider relocating during periods of heightened threat

Consider preemptively relocating to a lower elevation during periods of heightened fire threat - such as when the Berkeley Fire Department announces an "Extreme Fire Weather" event.

If you live in an area that has been designated as high fire risk (Fire Zones 2 and 3 on this map), the best way to stay in control and minimize your own risk is to leave the area until dangerous weather subsides. This is especially true for those who would have trouble getting out quickly on foot during an evacuation. Consider staying with friends, family, or at a hotel.

Identify friends or family in advance who you might be able to stay with. Talk to them beforehand about COVID-19 safety and what precautions you would take while all under the same roof. Review CDC guidance for people living in close quarters.

Pack a go-bag

In a wildfire, you may have only moments to leave. Everyone in your home needs a "go-bag" with everything you'll need to safely evacuate. Your go-bag should have:

  • flashlight
  • area map marked with at least two evacuation routes by car and two routes by foot - the Berkeley evacuation routes map and Berkeley Path Wanders walking map are good resources
  • bottle of water and snack
  • cloth face masks (for COVID-19 safety)
  • hand sanitizer
  • battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • cell phone charger
  • prescriptions or critical medications
  • extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • toiletries and change of clothing
  • printed list of phone numbers and email addresses for important contacts
  • extra set of keys
  • cash and credit cards
  • copies of important documents
  • whistle - to signal for help

Every household has unique needs. Consider what additional items you may need, such as:

  • pet supplies: collars, leashes, carriers, medications, water, food
  • essential medical equipment: walker, cane, CPAP machine

Put these items in a backpack or another bag that is easy to carry. Store your go-bag in an easily accessible location. Check it every six months and replace outdated or expired items.

Make a plan.

Talk to everyone in your household about what you'll do if you need to evacuate. Make an action plan together. It should include:

  • designated meeting place outside the fire area
  • multiple evacuation routes
  • a plan for your pets
  • a designated an out-of-area friend or relative to be point of contact

Use the City of Berkeley emergency access and evacuation network map to help plan evacuation routes. This map shows major roadways that are most likely to be clear during an evacuation.

Review your plan and practice evacuating together often. Regular practice ensures everyone will know what to do in an emergency.

Print out our wildfire evacuation checklist and keep it in a prominent location. (Large print and screen reader friendly version available in MS Word).

Prepare your home

  • Keep important documents in a safe, fireproof place. Create password-protected digital copies.
  • Use fire-resistant materials when you renovate or make repairs.
  • Review your insurance coverage to make sure it is enough to replace your property.

Getting ready to evacuate

When to evacuate

Leave immediately if an evacuation is ordered for your area.

Don't wait for an evacuation order if you feel threatened. Leave immediately. Consider evacuating on your own if you see:

  • Visible fire in an adjacent home
  • Visible fire in a home close by with strong winds
  • Strong winds carrying smoke or embers through or over your neighborhood

Getting ready to leave

If you are instructed to prepare to evacuate:

  • Cover up to protect against heat and flying embers. Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, heavy shoes or boots, a cap, dry bandana for face cover, and goggles or glasses. 100% cotton or natural materials are preferable.
  • Talk with your household about where you'll meet if you get separated. Identify a common friend or relative to call.
  • Check your go-bag for expired items. Replace anything out of date. Pack a go-bag if you don't have one.
  • Locate your pets. Put them in carriers or on leashes so they are ready when you need to leave.
  • Check on neighbors. Make sure they know about the evacuation warning and are preparing.

Protect your home

Take these steps to protect your home only if you have time. If you've been ordered to evacuate or feel threatened, just leave.

Inside your house

  • Close all windows and doors.
  • Close metal shutters, especially those in attics.
  • Remove flammable window shades and lightweight curtains.
  • Move flammable furniture to the center of the room, away from windows and doors.
  • Leave lights on so firefighters can see your house under smoky conditions.
  • Shut off air conditioning.

Outside your house

  • Gather up flammable items from the exterior of the house (patio furniture, children's toys, doormats, trash cans) and bring them inside. If you can't bring them inside, move them as far away from your home as possible.
  • Move propane BBQ appliances away from structures.
  • Connect garden hoses to outside water valves or spigots for firefighters. Fill water buckets (5 gallons or less) and place them around the outside of the house.
  • Don't leave sprinklers on or water running - they can affect critical water pressure.
  • Leave exterior lights on. This will help firefighters see your home through smoke or darkness.
  • Place a ladder at the corner of the house so firefighters can quickly access your roof.
  • Seal attic and ground vents with pre-cut plywood or commercial seals. If embers come in through these or other air intakes, they could cause your home to catch fire.

How to evacuate

If you've been instructed to evacuate, leave immediately. Follow instructions you receive from local officials. Evacuating early will help keep roads clear for firefighters and other emergency workers.

What to bring with you

Grab your phone and your go-bag. If you don't have a go-bag packed, take:

Evacuating by car

  • Back your vehicle into your driveway. Do not block the road.
  • Keep vehicle doors and windows closed.
  • Carry your keys with you.
  • Be prepared to evacuate on foot.

When you're driving, keep roadways clear for first responders:

  • Use routes as instructed by officials.
  • Do not block public safety personnel or vehicles.
  • If you encounter blocked roads, consider alternate routes.
  • If you must leave your car, park in a location that does not block traffic (blocking sidewalks is OK) and evacuate on foot.

Evacuating on foot

If you can't drive or roads are blocked, you'll need to evacuate on foot. In some neighborhoods, it will be faster to use foot paths than City streets.

Berkeley Path Wanderers sells a high quality, durable map that includes footpaths for $10. Consider purchasing one to include in your go-bag.

If you need help evacuating

If you are not able to walk or drive out on your own, ask your neighbors if they can help you. If you can't get a ride or find someone to help you evacuate on foot:

  • Call 911. Tell the operator you can't leave your house and need emergency assistance to evacuate.
  • If first responders come to your door, tell them you need help evacuating.

What to do if you get trapped

Trapped in your vehicle:

  • Park somewhere clear of vegetation and power lines. Do not block the road.
  • Keep the engine running and headlights on. Roll up windows. Set the ventilation system to re-circulate - this will reduce smoke in the car.
  • Cover yourself with a wool blanket or jacket.
  • Lie on the vehicle floor.
  • Call 911. Say you are trapped and tell the operator where you are (address or intersection is best).

Trapped on foot:

  • Go to an area clear of vegetation -- a ditch, depression, or body of water, if possible.
  • Lie face down and cover up your body.
  • Call 911. Say you are trapped and tell the operator where you are (address or intersection is best).

Trapped in your home:

  • Keep everyone in your household together.
  • Call 911. Say you are trapped and tell the operator where you are (address or intersection is best).
  • Fill sinks and tubs with cold water.
  • Keep doors and windows closed but unlocked.
  • Stay inside away from exterior walls and windows. It will get hot in the house, but stay inside anyway. It will be much hotter and more dangerous outside.

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.


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Fire Department, 2100 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: fire@cityofberkeley.info Phone: (510) 981-3473
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903