Right now as we speak there are dozens of massive wildfires burning all over the Pacific Northwest, ranging from California, to Oregon, all the way into Montana, where over half a million acres are already ablaze. Wildfires are an environmental disaster and should be treated with the utmost safety and caution. In light of the events unfolding, we are providing some helpful information on the subject of wildfires and what to do if you are in immediate danger of one.
Knowing How to Secure Your Property if in the Vicinity of a Wildfire
- Remove excess flammable material on your property, such as needles, dried leaves, kindling, firewood, and the like.
- If your house has vines or creepers running up the walls, remove them. This just adds to the flammable materials.
- Remove lawn furniture and place it in storage.
- Cut down all tree limbs that are 15 feet or closer to the ground on your property’s trees.
- Create what are called “fuel breaks”. These are areas fires cannot do anything with, such as stone pathways, driveways, gravel beds, and ponds.
- Always have a pre-written escape plan in event of evacuation.
If the Fire is on the Verge of Reaching Your Property
- Listen to emergency news and stay up-to-the-minute with what is happening with the fire. Put emergency supplies in your car so you can evacuate quickly. Evacuate immediately if told to do so by official personnel or news broadcast. Do not ignore these warnings for any reason.
- Moving furniture to the center of rooms and taking down any drapes, curtains, or similar wall-hangings.
- Close all windows to prevent drafts.
- Cut off any natural gas intakes.
- Turning on all of the lights in your house so if the fire does reach your property, firefighters can see through the smoke with greater ease.
- Remember not to leave pets behind. Remain calm at all times, address the situation methodically, and pay attention on the road.
Remember to only return to your residence when you are cleared to do so. Once a wildfire rages, you may as well consider the area uninhabitable until the fire is put out. Just because a fire is “contained” doesn’t mean the area is habitable or safe, either, this just means that the firefighters have been able to succeed in halting or impeding the progress of the fire. This does not mean it has been extinguished. Please refer to emergency channels at all times if you are unsure about the status of your area.
— Hunter Schmitz (@Hunt_Schmitz) September 3, 2017