Understand Evacuation Terms


Learn these terms so you are ready to follow instructions from emergency managers.

Immediate Evacuation Order:  An immediate threat to life. This is a lawful order to leave now. The area is lawfully closed to public access.

Evacuation Warning: A potential threat to life and/or property. Those who require additional time to evacuate and those with pets and livestock should leave now.

Shelter in Place: Go indoors. Shut and lock doors and windows. Prepare to self-sustain until further notice and/or contacted by emergency personnel for additional direction.


Level 1: Open to emergency responders, critical resources (public works, utilities, animal rescue) and residents only.

Level 2: Closed to all traffic except emergency responders and critical resources.

Level 3: Closed to all traffic except emergency responders.

Level 4: Closed to all traffic due to potential hazard to life.

One-way Evacuation Operations: All the travel lanes on a designated section of road proceed in one direction, heading away from an approaching wildland fire. This provides a way to handle the additional traffic anticipated as residents and visitors leave the area in advance of a wildland fire.


Be sure to obey officers’ directions and follow traffic cones and route markers. Message boards may be used to provide key information. Please follow instructions and remain calm. Stopping to talk to officers during an emergency is not recommended as it slows the evacuation process.