Fire departments in Sonoma County will fly red flags marked “High Fire Danger” when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service issues red flag warnings.

This new initiative is part of the READY, SET, GO! Program promoted by Fire Safe Sonoma and the Sonoma County Fire Chiefs Association, and funded by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

“This new system will make it easier for us as fire departments to ensure that communities are aware and alert in the event of a fire like we experienced in October of 2017,” Fire Chief Jason Boaz of Healdsburg Fire Department said, “it will help spread the word and potentially save lives.”

If you see a red flag flying at a nearby fire station, take these steps to be prepared for a fast-moving or unexpected fire.

  • Clear away dead vegetation within at least 10 ft. of your home and out of gutters. Remove flammable materials (i.e. firewood stacks, propane tanks) within 30 ft. around your home.
  • Ensure that you are signed up for emergency alerts, i.e. SoCoAlertand Nixle.
  • Have an emergency bagready with food, water, important documents and other essentials designed to last 72 hours. Do not engage in any outdoor burning, including in fire pits.
  • Ensure your home smoke alarms are working.
  • Create an escape plan from your home and find two evacuation routes out of your neighborhood with a designated meeting place.
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