Truckee police chief delivers a message in wildfire video with never-before-seen dramatic footage

Truckee Police Chief Rob Leftwich released a video Tuesday with never-before-seen footage of last year’s Camp Fire evacuations as he urged Californians to get ready for wildfire season.

“We are releasing this video because everyone needs to understand the devastating impact of a massive wildfire,” Leftwich said in a news release accompanying the release of the video. “Our community and visitors need to go into this fire season with eyes wide open and a plan in place for themselves and their loved ones.”

In the video, titled “Know the Time to Go”, Leftwich and Truckee Fire Protection District Chief Bill Seline talk about the steps people should take to prepare for a wildfire and possible evacuation.

“Nobody ever died from a wildfire because they left too early, right?” the police chief says in the video.

The 11-minute video shows first responders and the Paradise Police Department helping evacuate the community and dealing with the chaos during the most destructive wildfire in California history. Leftwich said people’s instinct to flee and their emotions during a crisis can overshadow reason and good decision-making.

Leftwich also shares his personal story when his family’s home was destroyed by the Tubbs Fire that ravaged Sonoma County in 2017.

“The lesson I took away from the Tubbs Fire is that everyone — every family, neighbors, visitors — needs to have a personal emergency and evacuation plan that is tailored for them specifically,” Leftwich said in the statement. “Truckee PD, Truckee Fire Protection District, and the Town of Truckee are continuously training and preparing in the event of a major disaster, but we need everyone to join our effort.”