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4 Ways To Prepare for a Wildfire Near You

4 Ways To Prepare for a Wildfire Near You

As temperatures rise, water becomes scarcer, and the wildlands dry out, increasing the risk of wildfires. You may not live near a forest or similar natural area, but you may visit one in the coming days for a campout, picnic, or the like. In that event, it’s wise to know what to do and how to react if a wildfire takes place. Here are four ways to prepare for a wildfire near you.

Stay Informed

Wildfires are happening more often. With that in mind, the first step toward safety is raising your awareness. Before you visit or stay in a natural area, check the weather. If there’s a risk of wildfire, the National Weather Service will issue a Fire Weather Watch, with a warning to be careful with campfires and other open flames. This means the potential for wildfire is high. If a wildfire is expected to happen, the NWS will release a red flag warning. Extreme fire behavior is another alert. It means an ongoing fire runs the risk of growing worse because it’s moving quickly and behaving erratically. Obviously, whatever alerts are issued, change your plans accordingly.

Create a Go Bag

Whether you live near a wildfire-prone place or plan to visit one, make sure you bring a go bag. A go bag provides all the necessities you’ll need in case you need to evacuate the area. Every go bag should include a three-day supply of food, three gallons of water per person, maps, a first aid kit, flashlights, emergency blankets, cash, and face masks. Other elements can be included as well, but these are the necessities.

Evacuation vs. Staying Put

If you’re told to evacuate, it goes without saying that you need to leave. If you aren’t told to evacuate, however, but still feel threatened, it’s perfectly reasonable to want to go. Before you go, you can give your home a chance to survive the blaze by shutting your doors and windows but not locking them. Take down flammable curtains and shades and move furniture to the room’s center. Turn off the gas and pilot lights but leave the lights on. This will help firefighters find your home even in the smoke and darkness.

Make a Quick Exit

Here’s just one more of our four ways to prepare for a wildfire near you. Know the way out in case of fire. Study all the potential evacuation routes and check with the police and forest rangers about where to go in case of emergency. Help them out by being a conscientious camper. Doubly douse your campfire when not in use. Don’t smoke or vape in the wild, and take care with matches, lighters, and other devices that emit sparks and flames. Make sure your vehicle is in good working condition and ensure it’s not emitting sparks or otherwise raising any heat under the chassis. We all need to work together to keep our natural resources safe and secure.

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