Napa County sheriff's deploying old school solution to save lives during wildfires

NAPA, Calif. (KGO) -- The Napa County Sheriff's Office has begun a new campaign to save lives in the event of another major wildfire. The solution is low tech, but very efficient.

The memories, and remnants from them, while dusty, remain fresh on Atlas Peak in Napa County-- of flames, of loss, of trying to get out.

"You pull this and when you do hear it snap," demonstrated Bill Senske of Silverado. When he learned about how two elderly neighbors died because the power failed on a garage door, Bill resolved to teach the rest of them to escape, and become fire-wise.

If fire comes again, he'll be doing something else-- tying a streamer to his front door. It reads, "Evacuated, Napa Sheriff."

When fire came to the North Bay in October 2017, deputies in Napa and Sonoma counties went door-to-door, warning people to leave. Often, that meant banging on already evacuated houses. If only Deputies could be more efficient.

"There are a lot of long driveways, gates, and if we saw one of these on the gate we could save 10 to 30 minutes," said Undersheriff Jon Crawford.

Hence, Napa County's campaign fronted in a video by Undersheriff Jon Crawford. They're the first in the nation to come with such a simple, low-tech idea.

"This is old school but dependable. Reliable," said the Undersheriff.

Now, the county hopes to get one of these in every residence. Bill Senske, will be the first on the block.

"It's a great idea."

And spreading, he hopes, faster than the next big fire will.

Napa County is already on its second printing of these evacuation tags. That's after an initial order of 10,000 to 15,000.

Just email the Napa County Sheriff, and the Department will put one in the mail to you.
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