By Jaimie Nissan
Wildfires differ from many disasters in that they are not always natural disasters. Rather, people often cause them. Moreover, people can prevent them. Unfortunately, meteorologists cannot forecast when a wildfire outbreak will occur. This means that people who live in fire-prone regions should plan ahead, so they have all the evacuation strategies necessary to depart with little or no advanced notice. Here are several great tips and tricks that can help you prevent wildfires and respond efficiently if you are caught in one:
Preventing a Wildfire
• Call 911 if you see an out-of-control fire that is unattended. You can also contact the local fire department or park services.
• Do not leave a campfire if no one is attending to it. Instead, make sure that you extinguish it thoroughly by throwing water on it and then stirring the remaining ashes until they become cold. Always extinguish the fire before leaving the campsite or going to sleep.
• When you are camping, be careful with your use of heaters, stoves, and fueling lanterns. Also, be sure that your heating devices and lighting are cool prior to refueling. Finally, be sure to keep fuel stored away from your appliances and do your best to prevent flammable liquids from spilling.
• Don’t discard smoking materials, matches, or cigarettes from park grounds or a moving car. Also, be sure that cigarettes are thoroughly extinguished before disposal.
Evacuation Tips And Tricks
• When you are advised to vacate the premises, do so as quickly as possible.
• Familiarize yourself with your evacuation route. Also, have your emergency supplies and evacuation checklist ready ahead of time.
• Wear protective clothing and footwear to guard yourself against ashes and flying sparks.
Taking Precautions Before You Leave Your House
• Remove all combustibles from the yard. This includes fuel cans, barbecue grills, yard waste, and firewood.
• Close all of your vents, doors, and windows to prevent drafts.
• Shut off fuel oil, propane, or natural gas supplies.
• Fill large vessels like tubs, garbage cans, and hot tubs with water to discourage or slow down a fire.
When You Are Caught In A Fire
• Do not attempt to outrun the fire. Instead, try to find a river or pond to “hide” in.
• If you cannot locate any water nearby, find a cleared, depressed region where there is sparse vegetation. Lie low there and cover your body with soil, a blanket, or wet clothing. Make sure that you stay covered and low until the wildfire has passed through.
• Breathe the air closest to the earth to keep your lungs protected. Be sure that you are breathing through a dampened cloth. Also, try to avoid inhaling any nearby smoke.
Although wildfires can be a nerve-wracking reality to grapple with, using the strategies mentioned above can prepare you to handle them efficiently. If your residential or commercial property is affected by a wildfire, it’s important to access professional remedial services as quickly as possible. Technicians possess extensive experience in remediating property affected by wildfires, and they get the job done.