We want you to have a great time while visiting Sonoma County! That includes knowing about local regulations related to vacation rentals and staying safe. Additional information is available through the provided links, and we are happy to answer questions, but we are not a replacement for emergency services. Call 911 if needed.
Vacation Rental Ordinance
Sonoma County has a strict vacation rental ordinance which sets the maximum occupancy for each home, quiet hours, a restriction on barking dogs, and more. Violations put the house’s permit at risk and your stay in jeopardy. That’s no fun for anyone!! We value the relaxed nature of the Russian River area and the peaceful experience of living in wine country. So do our neighbors, so thank you for honoring the requirements of the vacation rental ordinance and for being gracious visitors. The conditions of the permit and vacation rental ordinance are incorporated into the terms and conditions of your reservation, but if you’d like to read the official document, we encourage you to do so. This link downloads the vacation rental standards from the County of Sonoma website.
General Apps & Alerts
There are several excellent apps and alert systems available. You can sign up for these before your stay and uninstall or unsubscribe after your stay. Apps and websites specific to power outages and fires are listed in those sections.
Nixle is a great way to receive up-to-date text messages from local agencies. For example, the sheriff’s department uses Nixle to broadcast alerts such as evacuation orders, as well as alerts for smaller incidents such as avoiding a specific area. Sign-up is by zip code (which is listed in your confirmation email) and you can stop receiving texts anytime. We recommend guests sign up for Nixle alerts before checking in and unsubscribing after.
Here’s the link for Guerneville’s current weather, but you can switch it to any town in the area. We find Weather Underground to be particularly reliable.
For real time updates about fires in Sonoma and other counties (you can narrow your alerts to just Sonoma County), we recommend the Watch Duty app. It’s also available as a webpage.
SoCo Emergency App:
Many emergency alerts are based on zones. It can be confusing to find out what zone you’re in, even if you are familiar with the area. Knowing what zone you’re in will help you to determine if your location is affected by a local mandatory evacuation, warning, or shelter-in-place. To find your zone using the link above, enter the home address (located in your confirmation email) and refer to the map.
Drought Conditions & Burn Ban
In drought conditions, fire danger is very real in Sonoma County and burn bans are enacted. We ask guests to refrain from using wood-burning outdoor firepits in the dry season and many are dismantled or put away. Wood-burning firepits are now seasonally available during the winter and spring months as long as fire danger is low. Please do not bring your own firepit (wood-burning or gas) to a home, and do not rebuild dismantled firepits on the property. Neighborhood residents are on high alert for fire activity. Reports of guests using wood-burning firepits in the dry season may result in expulsion from the property.
The lower Russian River floods periodically and we watch the conditions very closely. Here are two of the site we utilize to see how high the water is now and how high it’s predicted to be.
NOAA: for forecasts, historical data, and local reference points.
California Dept of Water Resources: for current flow at multiple stations along the Russian River.
See the evacuation and alerts section for knowing when it’s time to evacuate and the safest route to do so.
River Beach Safety:
The County of Sonoma maintains a website dedicated to beach safety and water monitoring and a separate page for blue-green algae monitoring. Please visit these pages for the most accurate and up to date information.
Power Outages & Public Safety Power Shut-offs
PG&E Outage Map:
For power outage information, check the home’s address on the PG&E website. Contact the office if the power outage is localized to the home only.
PG&E Public Safety Power Shut-offs:
During fire season, PG&E assesses regions to be part of their Public Safety Power Shut-Offs. We do our best to notify all guests ahead of time, but you can also check to see if the area is being monitored or scheduled for a power outage on PG&E’s PSPS site.