loading page

An Investigation of the Populations Impacted by California Wildfire Evacuation Orders
  • Jena Alsup,
  • Prathmesh Sonawane,
  • Sam Heft-Neal
Jena Alsup
Homestead High School, Homestead High School

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Prathmesh Sonawane
Lowell High School, Lowell High School
Author Profile
Sam Heft-Neal
Stanford University, Stanford University
Author Profile


The frequency, size, and intensity of wildfires in California have increased substantially in recent years, leading to widespread mandatory evacuations affecting millions of residents. However, because evacuation orders are implemented by local agencies, there is limited quantitative evidence on the scope of evacuations statewide. In order to improve the understanding of wildfire evacuations, we assembled information on historical evacuation orders for two distinct wildfire-prone regions --- Fresno and Sonoma county --- in California. This data was used to understand how the frequency and extent of evacuations have changed over time. We then combined this information with census data to characterize which populations have been most affected by evacuation orders. Ultimately, our work aims to quantify this important element of wildfire impacts in key regions around California. Collectively, it provides a starting point for a public database of evacuation orders that could be used by researchers and policymakers to better understand dynamics and improve decision-making around wildfire evacuations.