Wildfire Safety and Preparedness

Since the year 2,000 over 73,200 wildfires have burned million of acres. Thousands of people die each year in wildfire-related disasters which destroy tens of thousands of structures each year. Knowing how to be prepared, especially in areas prone to wildfires could mean life or death for you and your family.

Wildfires start with the word wild for a reason. They get out of control very quickly and you never know exactly what they are going to do, when they are going to shift directions and how strong they will become. Many factors influence these things, particularly the current weather conditions and precipitation on the ground and air.

Prime weather for fires to ignite and spread include dry weather and strong winds – especially in areas of dense forests or areas containing other flammable materials. There is always a risk of life loss and property destruction when a wildfire burns out of control, but you can reduce your chances by being prepared before a wildfire strikes and know what to do if one does hit your home.

Practical Steps

  • Remove flammable debris in a radius of five feet from around your home, and clear any dry or dead foliage from anywhere within 30 feet of your home. These precautions will drastically reduce the chance for damage to your home during smaller fire events
  • Create elements of your home’s design that will help resist a fire. Anything from the material used on your roof and siding to stone terracing and other yard elements can make nearby fires much less of a threat to your home
  • Prepare an emergency kit in case of injury or the need to evacuate. This kit could include first aid measures, small amounts of food and water, and practical tools such as flashlights, batteries, and device chargers
  • Have an evacuation route planned and be willing to use it. Getting yourself and your family out of harm’s way is the most important things to consider during a large fire, and removing yourself will allow emergency workers to focus on putting out the fire rather than extracting you