Northern California Fire
According to LA Times, a recent wildfire in northern California has caused losses to at least 1,500 structures and one life. This firestorm has led to evacuations. Thousands of acres have been affected. As you may recall, we recently experienced another huge wildfire that burned along La Tuna in the Burbank area and now this. News reports have also mentioned fires in Anaheim, California. National Geographic has predicted that wildfires are usually preventable because they are mostly caused by human error or intentionally set. Lets take a look at some tips provided by www.nationageographic.com on how to prevent wildfires and what you can do if you or a loved one is in close proximity to one.
What to do and measures one can take:
• Contact 911, your local fire department, or the park service if you notice an unattended or out-of-control fire.
• Never leave a fire unattended. Completely extinguish the fire—by dousing it with water and stirring the ashes until cold—before sleeping or leaving the campsite.
• When camping, be careful when using and fueling lanterns, stoves, and heaters. Make sure lighting and heating devices are cool before refueling. Avoid spilling flammable liquids and store fuel away from appliances.
• Do not discard cigarettes, matches, and smoking materials from moving vehicles, or anywhere on park grounds. Be certain to completely extinguish cigarettes before disposing of them.
• Follow local ordinances when burning yard waste. Avoid backyard burning in windy conditions, and keep a shovel, water, and fire retardant nearby to keep fires in check. Remove all flammables from yard when burning.
• If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
• Know your evacuation route ahead of time and prepare an evacuation checklist and emergency supplies. Take your medication and minimal items of necessity.
• Wear protective clothing and footwear to protect yourself from flying sparks and ashes.
BEFORE YOU LEAVE, PREPARE YOUR HOUSE
• Remove combustibles, including firewood, yard waste, barbecue grills, and fuel cans, from your yard.
• Close all windows, vents, and doors to prevent a draft.
• Shut off natural gas, propane, or fuel oil supplies.
• Fill any large vessels—pools, hot tubs, garbage cans, or tubs—with water to slow or discourage fire.
IF CAUGHT IN A WILDFIRE
• Don’t try to outrun the blaze. Instead, look for a body of water such as a pond or river to crouch in.
• If there is no water nearby, find a depressed, cleared area with little vegetation, lie low to the ground, and cover your body with wet clothing, a blanket, or soil. Stay low and covered until the fire passes.
• Protect your lungs by breathing air closest to the ground, through a moist cloth, if possible, to avoid inhaling smoke.