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Wildfire

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Overview of the Hazard

A wildfire is any free burning, uncontainable wildland fire not prescribed for the area which consumes the natural fuels and spreads in response to its environment. The most at-risk locations are areas where development has occurred or is occurring at the edge of previously undeveloped vegetated areas, such as forests, grasslands, wetlands, etc.


 

What Would You Do?

Before

According to ready.gov, here are some actions you can take to protect yourself and your property before a wildfire:

  • Build a kit
  • Have a plan
  • Stay informed

    Prepare Your Home
    • Regularly clean the roof and gutters.
    • Maintain an area approximately 30’ away from you home that is free of anything that will burn, such as wood piles, dried leaves, newspapers and other brush.
    • Connect garden hoses long enough to reach any area of the home and fill garbage cans, tubs, or other large containers with water.
    • Review your homeowner's insurance policy and also prepare/update a list of your home's contents.

    Understand the Nationals Weather Service Fire Weather Watch/ Red Flag Warnings
    • The Red Flag Warning is designed to provide land management agencies warning of potentially hazardous fire weather conditions that are imminent or already occurring.
    • A red flag warning is issued based on the most hazardous weather associated with the largest ten percent of fires. The following weather conditions will prompt the issuance of a red flag warning: Relative humidity below 35% AND wind speed of 15 mph or greater AND Energy Release Component (Fuel Model G) of 27 or higher or Relative humidity below 35% for four hours or more AND Energy Release Component (Fuel Model G) of 37 or higher.
    • A Fire Weather Watch is designed to alert those agencies to possible red flag conditions in the future.
    • The National Weather Service does not make any management decisions as a result of the Watch or Warning. Specific actions are determined by user agencies.

    Sign up for non-weather related emergency alerts


    During

    ready.gov  provides the following recommended safety tips:

    • If you see a wildfire and haven't received evacuation orders yet, call 9-1-1. Don't assume that someone else has already called.
    • If ordered to evacuate during a wildfire, do it immediately- make sure and tell someone where you are going and when you have arrived.
    • If you or someone you are with has been burned, call 9-1-1 or seek help immediately; cool and cover burns to reduce chance of further injury or infection.

    The CDC Website provides information regarding the effects of Wildfire Smoke


    After

    According to ready.gov, here are some suggested actions you can take to protect yourself and your property after a wildfire:

    Returning Home

    • Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
    • For several hours after the fire, maintain a "fire watch." Check and re-check for smoke, sparks or hidden embers throughout the house, including the roof and the attic.
    • Use caution when entering burned areas as hazards may still exist, including hot spots, which can flare up without warning. Evacuate immediately if you smell smoke.

    Cleaning Your Home
    • Wear a NIOSH certified-respirator (dust mask) and wet debris down to minimize breathing dust particles.
    • Discard any food that has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot.
    • Do NOT use water that you think may be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, or to make ice or baby formula.
    • Photograph damage to your property for insurance purposes.