In April 2022, following a Request for Proposals and a multi-stakeholders review process, the MWPA Board approved a proposal by consultant Sonoma Technology for a Wildfire Evacuation/ Egress/Ingress Risk Assessment.
The project will build dynamic models of wildfire spread, communications and transportation networks to simulate various wildfire evacuation scenarios in Marin County. The goal is to assess evacuation route vulnerabilities under different scenarios (such as fire origin and direction, alerting and communications impediments, traffic conditions at different hours of the day, etc.) to inventory and prioritize mitigation planning efforts. This study is NOT a tool for evacuation management or training. Mitigation efforts might include roadside vegetation management, changes to road networks and traffic, enhanced communication tools etc.
The first milestone of this project was a comprehensive review of the state-of-the-science in evacuation modeling and derive practical implications for Marin County’s preparedness efforts. The report draws insights from over 50 studies and summarizes findings from numerous events across the state, nation and the world.
The findings show that three major factors contribute to civilian fatalities:
1. Extreme fire behavior conditions
2. Failures or delays in alerting and communications systems
3. Delays in evacuee departure due to last-minute evacuation of inability to evacuate.
This review shows that in most cases, evacuation is the safest option for residents even if the roadways used for evacuation are impacted by nearby fire or smoke.
Partners in this effort include the Transportation Authority of Marin. Fehr and Peers, Spatial Informatics Group, UC Berkeley, Marin County departments of Public Works and Community Development Agency and more.
Fire Hazard Severity Zone MapLearn More
Creating defensible space to protect Marin’s homes from wildfires by Julie McMillanLearn More