City recommends Berkeley Hills residents prepare for evacuation

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As California’s wildfire season continues to worsen, the city of Berkeley and Berkeley Fire Department urged Berkeley Hills residents to prepare for evacuation.

City officials noted that residents should also be aware of their evacuation and key fire weather terms, as well as signing up for emergency notifications, according to a city press release. Hot and dry “Extreme Fire Weather” conditions pose a higher risk the city fire zones 2 and 3, which are close to regional parklands.

“With each wildfire, we learn more about how our response must adapt,” the press release reads. “One key lesson is that all of us, not just emergency responders, must act based on weather conditions rather than waiting for a fire to ignite.”

“Extreme Fire Weather” conditions are characterized by high sustained winds and extremely low humidity, and they were present during some of the state’s most destructive wildfires in history in 2020. During these conditions, the city increases the number of active patrols in the hills, according to the press release.

Residents can find their evacuation zone using the online Zonehaven tool, which will also provide real-time updates during a fire.

City officials additionally urged residents to keep their phones available and avoid activities that could cause a spark during red flag warnings issued by the National Weather Service.

“The decision of ‘when to leave’ is personal to each household,” the press release reads. “Understand that the longer you wait, you will need to be ready to leave on foot. If that poses a problem for anyone in your home, it’s safest to stay outside of the hills in these ‘Extreme Fire Weather’ conditions.”

Aditya Katewa is the executive news editor. Contact him at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter at @adkatewa1.