Analysts say that this year is going to be a very active one for wildfires. Residents and visitors in vulnerable areas should be prepared to take precaution and to have a a safety plan in place.
What are the states most prone to wildfires?
Western states from Washington to New Mexico plus Texas are most prone to wildfires. On the east coast, Florida is also prone to wildfires. If you live or visit one of these states, take precaution.
There is plenty that you can do right now to reduce the risk of loss of property and loss of life due to a wildfire.
Create a 30-foot defensible space around the home. This space should be free of vegetation and debris that could catch fire.
Keep firewood and any other combustable items well away from your home and any other structures that are on your property.
To ensure an escape route, make sure that access roads out of your property are clear of vegetation or any debris that could hinder your escape.
Keep the roof and gutters of your home free of leaves, needles and any other debris.
Prune trees, especially those near your home or other structures on your property, and keep excess needles, leaves and branches off the ground where they could turn into fuel for a wildfire.
Never park your car in tall grass, shrubs or brush. The heat from your car could actually start a fire if the hot catalytic converter comes in contact with dry material.
Always be vigilant about your use of fire. For example, never toss a lit cigarette out of a car window, build campfires and cooking fires in fire grill pits only, and never leave a fire unattended.
Make sure to have other emergency preparations in place, such as a contact plan in case family members get separated, and a disaster supply kit in case you need to evacuate.