'Neighborfest' program brings Santa Rosa community together for fire preparedness

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- They share smiles, stories, and experiences at Neighborfest in Santa Rosa's Ridgway Historic Neighborhood.

Many are meeting for the first time, as a new program is pushing them to get to know one another, for their own safety.

"The Tubbs Fire was a disaster in itself. It was an event no one ever wanted to go through but something like that showed the importance of neighbors helping neighbors," Assistant Fire Marshal Paul Lowenthal said.

RELATED: Santa Rosa may allow controlled burns as part of new fire safety plan

The North Bay fires swept through the area in October 2017.

Many lessons were learned and now they're being taught in the neighborhoods.

Evacuation routes and emergency preparedness are top of mind.

Still, neighbors becoming friends is what really matters and makes this life-saving program work.

RELATED: Santa Rosa easing construction noise limits to speed up Tubbs Fire rebuilding

Chris Coursey was mayor during the North Bay fires.

He said, "Neighbors helping neighbors helping strangers. What we're trying to do is create a community where people think that way all the time not just after a disaster."

And so people listen to music, eat, and play together.

Neighbor Jon Phillips said, "To me it feels really good inside my heart to know I have neighbors looking out for each other."

That can only happen once neighbors stop being strangers.

See more information and videos about the North Bay fires.
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