All Californians know that it is that time of year once again. Fire season is upon us. California has a tendency to have a hot, dry climate in summer. This can make it very easy for fires to break out and roar across the state. While winds may help cool us down, they only fan the flames, helping them spread farther, faster.
During this time of year it is very important that every Californian be more cautious with everything they do. One wrong move can start up a wildfire and cause thousands of dollars in damage. Nobody wants to be the one responsible for that.
The following are some tips we have gathered to help prevent wildfires in the first place.
- When setting up campfires, be sure to check local laws to make sure they are allowed in the area, and if they are, that they are kept 10 feet away from anything combustible.
- When it comes to dealing with campfires, always be sure to keep fires smaller than 3 feet wide, and only burn firewood. The fire pit should be completely surrounded by rocks and a shovel and supply of water should be kept close by incase the fire starts to get out of control.
- Fireworks are a sure fire way to start wildfires, which is why they are typically illegal to set off in most areas of California.
- Never discard a cigarette by tossing it on the ground or throwing it out of the car window. Doing so is an easy way for the smoldering cigarette butt to land in a dry patch of foliage and start a new blaze. Always discard cigarettes in ashtrays where they cannot blow away.
- Never park a vehicle on dry brush, since the heat from the exhaust can be enough to start a fire.
- Be careful with lawnmowers in dry areas since they can start fires with sparks cause by their blades striking against rocks. Try to mow early in the morning when there is still moisture around.
- Never play around with fire, especially not in hot, dry, or windy conditions.
Fire safety is a very big deal in the state of California. Every year fire season rolls around and thousands of acres are burnt down. Sometimes people lose their homes, and in devastating instances, people lose their lives.
It is important that everyone do their part to try and prevent wildfires from happening.
It’s officially summer. For many, this means it’s the start to family vacations, long days spent at the pool, and as much ice cream as your heart desires. However, for those living in Southern California, the start of summer also means the start of wildfire season. In order to help ensure your family is prepared, we are bringing you a two-part series dedicated to helping you fight the wildfire season.
As you may know, most of Earth’s natural disasters are considered a force of nature and many of them, such as hurricanes and earthquakes, can be predicted. However, since wildfires are typically caused by human acts, they cannot be predicted. That’s why it is up to you to help prevent wildfires. The first blog in our two-part series will cover just that, how to prevent wildfires.
There are several steps you can take to prevent wildfires, but in an effort to help you save time, we sifted through countless sources and picked out the top 10 steps you can take to prevent wildfires this summer.
- If you see an unattended fire or campfire, dial 911 or contact your local fire department or the park service immediately.
- Do not leave a fire unattended. Before you leave, cover the fire with water and stir the ashes until they are cold.
- Do not throw out cigarettes, matches, or any other smoking material from your car.
- If you need to burn backyard waste, keep a shovel and water nearby in case the surrounding grass catches on fire.
- Never start a controlled burn when windy conditions are present.
- Shooting fireworks? Be sure you use a water hose to wet down the grass in the surrounding area.
- Once you have used the fireworks, place them in a bucket of water to ensure they are extinguished.
- Do not allow children to use any type of firework, including poppers or sparklers unattended.
- Do not park unused cars and machinery on top of the dry grass.
- Ensure lids and caps are securely fastened on gasoline, oil, and other combustible material containers.
“Only YOU can prevent wildfires” is a slogan most commonly used by Smokey Bear. This very simple, but very true phrase, is one of the most important things to remember during the wildfire season.
It is important that each one of us do our part to limit property damage and keep our land intact by eliminating wildfires. Be sure to check back next week where we will discuss what to do during a wildfire.
Sources: Items 1 – 4, courtesy of National Geographic. Items 5 – 10 courtesy of the Red Cross.