Californians are aware of wildfires. Wildfires burn acres and acres of land. Wildfires encroach and place family homes in danger. Wildfires are seasonal.
There are two types of wildfires in California. One type is the natural cycle of lightning strikes that burn old growth away. It allows young plants a chance to renew the land. Other wildfires are humankind created through carelessness. The careless wildfires are the ones that pollute the air, destroy property, and cost people valuable resources.
The following tips help to avoid careless fires and save homeowners the tragedy of losing their homes during wildfires.
1. Smoking is probably one of the main culprits of unplanned wildfires. Do not Smoke is the best advice, but the nicotine habit is very difficult to break. The following advice is for smokers who cannot break the habit.
- If driving, use your ashtray. Under no circumstances should you throw butts out the window.
- If outside, only smoke on hard surfaces such as concrete, or naked dirt that have no brush. Put the butts in a bag to carry to a safe place. Matches should also be put in a safe place.
2. Campfires. Believe it or not, many people do not build campfires in appropriate locations. Follow the following tips.
- Build campfires in areas that are designated for that purpose.
- If building a fire in a wild area, dig a pit and put rocks around the edge. Keep a shovel and water near by to use to put out the fire.
- Stack your fire starters – newspapers, extra kindling, etc. away from the fire and upwind of the fire. Be really safe by using water and dirt to extinguish the fire. Use your hand to be sure the fire is dead out. Do not discard your matches. Be sure to take them with you.
3. Homes. If you are in a fire danger zone be sure to set up a 100 foot perimeter around your house.
- Use stone, brick, chain link or concrete as fencing. Wood is vulnerable to fire.
- Clear away all flammable debris.
- Use non-inflammable shingles made of metal or another non-flammable roof covering.
- If you can afford it, aluminum siding is a good non-inflammable material.
- Lawns should be watered during wildfire weather.
- Have smoke alarms with extra batteries in your home. Check it periodically.
- Plan an escape route for you and your family should your house be endangered.
- If your home is in a secluded area, you should prepare and give a map to the fire and police departments. This information will help in case of an emergency.
Be cautious whenever you are in dry areas with high heat temperatures or hot, dry winds.