Evacuation Needs Assessment and Communication Strategies Study
In June of 2020 the Tuolumne County Transportation Council (TCTC) received an award from the Sustainable Communities Transportation Planning Grant for the Evacuation Needs Assessment and Communication Strategies for Safer Communities Project. Work began in late July of 2021 and continued until March of 2023 when the final project document was adopted by the TCTC board.
The Tuolumne County Evacuation Needs Assessment and Communication Strategies project was intended to be a planning level evaluation of roadway capacity constraints on communities in our region that are vulnerable to wildfires in order to support the identification of future improvements. The study additionally explored best practice evacuation and evacuation communication strategies and provided best practice tool suggestions, relevant to our area, that might be useful for our region's teams. It was not developed to include evacuation routes for people to follow, or zones, and was not intended to be used as an evacuation plan.
The idea was, should deficiencies be identified, Tuolumne County Transportation Council, Tuolumne County Office of Emergency Services (TC OES), and other agencies or groups in the region would have data to support additional projects intended to study and/or improve our roadway network. The project used historical data, conducted community outreach via digital means as well as in-person meetings, and gathered feedback. TCTC and TC OES along with our consultant Kittelson & Associates worked to meet with a number of our public agencies and groups to ensure data collected was as accurate as possible.
The results of the seven fire scenarios identified the following likely locations of congestion during evacuations:
1. Sonora Area. For the fires that would impact locations along CA-108, the travel model indicates that
congestion around the Sonora area is likely whether the fire is occurring in the immediate vicinity or
further away. Congestion is partly due to interaction between evacuation trips and usual traffic in the
2. Washington Street between CA-108 and West School Street through Sonora, including the traffic
• Washington Street / Restano Way
• Washington Street / Golden Chain Highway (CA-49)
3. CA-108 between Mono Way and where CA-108 and CA-49 split west of Jamestown
4. CA-120 between Ferretti Road, near Groveland, and Priest Coulterville Road
5. Arterials/Collectors Streets connecting to state routes, such as:
• Phoenix Lake Road
• Tuolumne Road / Tuolumne Road North
• Parrotts Ferry Road
Indicative Local Roads where congestion may occur include:
6. Ferretti Road at CA-120 (Groveland Fire Scenario)
7. Pinecrest Lake Road at CA-108 (Camp Blue Fire Scenario)
- Pinecrest and Strawberry intersections with State Route 108 (Camp Blue Scenario)
- Greenley Road (All Fire Scenarios except Camp Blue and Groveland)
- Lyons Bald Mountain Road (Cabezut Scenario)
-Big Hill Road (Cedar Ridge Scenario)
-Yosemite Road and Algerine Road (Apple Colony Scenario)
- Kewin Mill Road (Cedar Ridge Scenario)
-North Airport Road and Horseshoe Bend Road (Columbia Scenario)
-Campo Seco Road (Community Meeting Input)
-Fraser Flat Road (TCTC Board Meeting Input)
- Mt. Elizabeth Road (TCTC Board Meeting Input)
-Mt. Provo Road (TCTC Board Meeting Input)
-Mono Way (TCTC Board Meeting)
The study furthers the understanding of wildfire risk based on historic data in order to inform strategies or approaches for future evacuations and identifies opportunities for evacuation-related transportation improvements for the Tuolumne County Transportation Council Regional Transportation Plan. The study does not identify evacuation routes or zones and is not an evacuation plan.
The Final Document is listed below.
The Tuolumne County Evacuation Needs Assessment and Communication Strategies study was structured around three components:
Potential Wildfire Risk - Identifies relative wildfire risk across Tuolumne County.
Roadway Evacuation Needs Assessment – Describes potential limits to efficient evacuation based on modeled evacuation scenarios and identifies potential strategies for increasing the resiliency of egress routes.
Communication Strategies – Identifies potential barriers to effective communication in preparation for and during an evacuation and recommends strategies for improving communication.
Project Milestones and Documents
RFP Released: April 1, 2021
RFP Closed: May 6, 2021
Consultant Chosen By Panel: Kittelson & Associates
Final Plan, Approved: Anticipated, March 8, 2023
Revised Final Plan (Entire Document):
Revised Final Plan (Report Only):
Revised Final Plan (Appendices):
Response to Comments (Consultant):
Final Plan (Entire Document):
Final Plan (Report Only):
Final Plan (Appendices):
The Tuolumne County Evacuation Needs Assessment and Communication Strategies study was intended to be a planning level evaluation of roadway capacity constraints on communities in our region that are vulnerable to wildfires in order to support the identification of future improvements. The plan also looked at evacuation and evacuation communication strategies (As they're related to transportation) and provided best practice tool suggestions relevant to the area that might be useful for our region's teams. It is not an all-encompassing evacuation plan. It does not identify evacuation routes for people to follow, or zones, and is not intended to be used as an evacuation plan.