Ventura County has joined a number of other California jurisdictions in equipping law enforcement vehicles with so-called hi-lo sirens intended to alert residents to evacuate neighborhoods in event of fires, floods and other disasters.

The European-style alternating two-tone sirens are much different than sirens normally heard in California.

“With wildfires increasing in frequency and severity, this distinct siren will serve as a powerful tool in efficiently notifying the public of an encroaching fire and the need to evacuate,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Tuesday. “If residents hear the Hi-Lo siren in their community, it is a signal that they are in imminent danger and should evacuate immediately. “

A recently enacted state law authorizes use of such sirens to help in emergency evacuations.

A number of other sheriff’s agencies in counties including Lake and Napa as well as police departments in cities such as Santa Rosa have also added the sirens to their vehicles.


By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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