Earth Science - Other

How to Safeguard your Life and Property during a Wildfire



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Individuals that live in areas prone to annual wildfires such as California are well versed in how to safeguard their lives and property, but there are those that refuse to apply logic and common sense to the situation. The best manner in which to protect your interests in a wildfire is to leave when the authorities give warning, making certain you have done all that can be accomplished to protect your home before departing. While it can quite an emotional situation to leave behind all of the material possessions that have taken a lifetime to earn, there is no possession more valuable than your life and that of those you love - everything else can be replaced with time and money.

Protecting you home in a wildfire region is basic common sense, and due diligence helps the situation immensely. Creating a barrier in the landscape of your property that is absent of fuel for an approaching wildfire is imperative to any hope of success in the battle. Within 50 feet of a structure there should only be small plants that are green and alive, and none should be within ten feet of the building. Trees, shrubs and dry plants should be at least 100 feet from the home, and should be trimmed to a reasonable size frequently to remove dead branches and leaves that will burn quickly in a wild fire.

On the home itself, the roof and gutters should be clear of debris such as leaves that may be fuel for a wildfire. Prior to leaving the residence, a thorough soaking if the roof and house with a garden hose will help to keep the structure damp, and thereby aid in the hope of it surviving a wildfire. Grass around the home should be no more than two inches in height.

According to FEMA, an automobile is one of the safer places to be if caught in a wildfire. Even though they carry a gas tank, cars rarely explode in a wildfire. If caught in a car in an approaching wildfire, drive to a location that is as free of vegetation as possible, and park in the middle of the road. Roll up the car windows and close the air vents. It is recommended to lie on the floor of the car and to cover yourself with a blanket or other cloth material, and if possible to place a wet piece of cloth over the face to aid in breathing.

Every fire season thousands of emergency workers put their lives at risk and some die while attempting to save those that behave dangerously when a wildfire approaches.Consider the well-being of these brave people before acting foolishly and selfishly in a wildfire situation.

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