Napa Vision 2050 is concerned about the lack of alerts and promised safe egress in the October fires. Not only were there no Nixle alerts on Atlas Peak and Mt. Veeder, but there were no sirens. Furthermore, after being assured by County Fire Chief Barry Biermann during the appeal hearing on Soda Canyon’s Mountain Peak Vineyard (6 ½ miles up an increasingly poor deadend road) that there was an evacuation route from Foss Valley to Atlas Peak Rd. through private property and locked gates (you’d need bolt cutters)– there was no escape via Atlas Peak Rd. for anyone who was aware of or knew how to get to this “escape route.”
Our county is permitting wineries on deadend country roads which have no safe egress in the event of a catastrophe such as the Atlas Peak fire and it seems there was no operative alert system in place.
Tell your story about the fires so we can be better prepared for the next big emergency.
Where were you? Were you alerted in a timely way? What was your experience during evacuation? While people risked their lives to help neighbors and thousands supported each other in the days after, six people in our county died as a result of lack of warning and/or safe egress.
Please use this link and post in the comment section to tell your own experiences, both good and as well as concerning, so we can, together, work to make sure there is a workable plan next time. We need our local government to care as much about emergency response and safe egress as they do about getting visitors back in the valley. Our lives depend it.
The following account from our president Dan Mufson is one of many stories that tell of no warning from authorities. Dan and his wife Naoko fled with their lives, their dog, and a computer, driving through flames to safety:
Well, the fires are out, the first responders thanked and gone, and those of us who lost our homes are coping as best we can to pick up and move on. It’s been over a month since my wife and I evacuated our home on Atlas Peak Road…Somewhere about 10 PM on October 8 as we were readying for bed my wife smelled smoke. I went out to check and was appalled at the conflagration on the ridge of Atlas Peak. Read more HERE: