Wildfire Maps and Information

Historic Bay Area Fire Perimeters and the October 2017 North Bay Fires

Wildfires are common in the Bay Area – in the past 60 years the region has experienced over 500 wildfires. The vast majority are contained and extinguished quickly, but the region also has a history of fast moving and dangerous wildfires. Most recently a collection of 2017 North Bay Fires killed 31 residents within the nine-county Bay Area region and destroyed 8,000 structures. In 1991, fires in the East Bay hills resulted in 25 deaths and the loss of over 3,000 homes. To address wildfire risks, communities across the Bay Area have adopted plans and continue to implement strategies to reduce the exposure of communities to wildfire risks, and should an uncontrollable fire occur, reduce the consequences to people, property and the environment.

2018 Wildfire White Paper

The White Paper is a resource for Bay Area communities to better understand wildland fire risk in the region. The paper characterizes wildfire hazard in the region, assesses existing wildfire hazard maps, and includes a literature review of Bay Area fire planning documents. A suite of appendices provide links to resources to support communities engaged in wildfire mitigation efforts in their communities. In addition to the paper, a searchable database of wildfire mitigation strategies is also available showcasing the 350+ strategies discussed in the 15 reviewed Bay Area fire planning documents. The scope of the White Paper does not focus on the 2017 North Bay Fires, but instead explores the strategies communities currently use to mitigate wildfire risk.

Wildfire White Paper – A review of Bay Area wildfire hazard, and planning documents used to mitigate the risks.

Strategy Spreadsheet – Staff reviewed 15 wildfire planning documents used by communities across the region and aggregated a full list of strategies from each plan. The 360 strategies are searchable by jurisdiction and strategy type.

GIS Open Data Resources – CalFire produces a range of wildfire maps that communities can use to characterize their risks. These resources are available through CalFire and are also provided on the Resilience Program’s Open Data page.

Hazard Viewer Map — Two wildfire mapping layers are provided on our online map viewer, (1) Historic Wildfire Perimeters, and (2) Fire Hazard Severity Zones. Both maps are generated by CalFire.

Analysis Tables – If interested readers would like background data used to produce tables in the Wildfire White Paper report, please contact Michael Germeraad (mgermeraad@bayareametro.gov) for additional files.

2017 North Bay Wildfire Event

Following the North Bay Fires, MTC offered support to the impacted local governments to help facilitate the rebuilding and recovery process. This support was documented in a report out to the ABAG Executive Board on May 17, 2018 (click here for a recording of the presentation).

For communities that are rebuilding from wildfires, or want to consider recovery strategies ahead of a disaster, the Resilience Program offers strategy and policy support for pre disaster recovery planning.

Wildfire Resources for Local Governments

Fire Hazard Planning: General Plan Technical Advice Series, Office of Planning & Research. May 2014. (55 Pages

A Handbook for Fire Planning in the General Plan, California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection. May 2014. (41 Pages)

Wildfire Resources for Community Members

Your Fire Department – There are over 160 different fire departments in the San Francisco Bay Area and many of them have good local information to share. Visit your fire department to learn about risks and actions you can take.

Firesafe Councils – there are many Firesafe Councils in the Bay Area. To find out if your community has a council visit the California Firesafe Council’s map of local efforts.

Firewise Communities – The National Fire Protection Association produces a number of homeowner resources through their Firewise program.

RedCross Wildfire Safety Checklist – a one page check list for actions a household can take to prepare specifically for wildfire risks.

At Home in the Woods – stories from communities across the United States that have made progress on reducing wildfire risks.

Last updated: 03.05.2020