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What are temporary areas of refuge?

These are open locations free of unburned vegetation that may be safe places to wait while a fire passes. If your evacuation route is blocked or impassable, a wide parking lot, ball field, or even a house or commercial building may provide temporary shelter. Parking your car, with windows up, in a location far from vegetation or structures and waiting for the fire to pass, is often a safe option for sheltering in place. Authorities may choose to evacuate the temporary refuge areas en-masse when it’s safe to do so.

How can I find the nearest area of refuge near my home?

Temporary areas of refuge are identified on many Marin County evacuation maps. Wide parking lots, ball fields, and other open areas are usually safe if you stay in your car with windows up until the wildfire passes. 

How do I decide whether to go to an area of refuge?

Your first choice should be to follow your pre-planned evacuation route. If your evacuation route is blocked or impassable, consider an area of temporary refuge.  

What else do I need to know about temporary areas of refuge?

Ideally the temporary refuge is at the lowest point in your area. Heat will rise and travel uphill, away from the low areas. The less vegetation and wider the area, the safer it will be. Wildfires move through areas relatively quickly, so you are unlikely to have to stay in a safe refuge for a long period of time. 

Learn more about temporary areas of refuge at Fire Safe Marin, Evacuation Guide:

Fire Safe Marin

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