Voluntary evacuation advisory issued for City of Sonoma

Precautionary measure at the moment; mandatory evacuation still in the cards|

The City of Sonoma has issued a “voluntary” evacuation advisory for areas north of Napa Street.

Multiple fires continue to burn throughout the Sonoma Valley and, with high winds expected to change rapidly this evening and into the night, city officials said that, while there is currently no imminent threat to safety, the advisory is a necessary precautionary measure.

Sonoma Mayor Rachel Hundley said the decision was made out of “an abundance of precaution.”

“Our number-one priority is to protect human life,” said Hundley. “So we don't want to take any chances here.”

There are currently no fires within city limits, officials stress.

The areas of El Verano and the Springs north of Petaluma Avenue, south of Madrone and east of Arnold Drive had been issued a voluntary evacuation advisory earlier on Wednesday.

According to the City website, “A voluntary evacuation advisory is issued when there is not an imminent threat to life safety but may be in the near future. You are advised but not required to leave.”

Residents will be required to leave if and when the evacuation becomes “mandatory.”

For those who choose to stay during the voluntary evacuation, say city officials, they advise preparing to evacuate in case it becomes mandatory. If possible, contact family or friends outside the affected area with whom you can stay.

“If people are packed and have a place to go, now would be a good time to go,” said Hundley. “If they're not packed, now would be a good time to get packed and put it by the door.”

Pre-evacuation information from Cal Fire is at http://www.readyforwildfire.org/Pre-Evacuation-Preparation/.

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