Disaster preparedness is important for all of us in Fairfax. The very recent fires in West Marin, the North Bay and the South Bay, are yet another reminder that we all need to prepare, as a Town and as individuals. In 2019 the Citizen’s Disaster Council (CDC) was convened by then-mayor Barbara Coler. Per Town Code, the CDC consists of the current mayor, vice mayor, emergency responders (fire/police) and other key groups. The CDC updated our Town’s Emergency Operations Plan and Evacuation Maps used by our fire and police. In addition, then-mayor Coler also called for Community-Friendly Evacuation Maps as requested by many Fairfaxians, so that each of us in the community can find our own way out of our neighborhoods in a disaster.
Working primarily with FIRESafe Marin’s Board Vice President, Todd Lando, and Michael St. John (Marin County’s Search & Rescue Team leader), a CDC subcommittee developed these innovative, first-of-their-kind maps (with evacuation tips), for all 9 of our mutual threat zones (these zones are established by Fire). There is also an overall map so you can locate the zones you and your family members live, work or go to school.
The maps were completed in summer 2020 and will be printed in hard copy and mailed to all Fairfaxians in fall 2020; all have QR codes and can be downloaded to smart phones or other devices so we can all get out quickly. They are posted on the Town’s website on the Emergency Planning page. Developing the maps was paid for by the Town of Fairfax. The Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority (MWPA) will pay for the mailing to all Fairfax residents.
The mapping format and tips were coordinated with other Marin Fire Agencies in process (i.e., Novato). Todd Lando and Michael St. John led the effort, working with Claudine Jaenichen, a professor at Chapman University in Southern California, to develop these FireClear maps for Fairfax. Our maps will be used as a standard format for all other cities/towns in the County under the new Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority (MWPA) to be developed over the next year.
Thank you all for your patience waiting for these maps. Special thanks to Todd and Michael, and Professor Jaenichen. Now let’s all get our “to go” bags ready, our disaster plans in place and download our zone maps!