When the weather begins to warm up we instantly start to think of summertime! During this time we also have to consider that with the heat comes dryness which in turn causes wildfires. Wildfires are one of the most powerful natural forces that we have. They can burn up thousands of acres in little to no time. At times they seem uncontrollable, but the fact of the matter is, we are in power to help prevent wildfires. In 2011, more than 8.7 million acres burned due to wildfires in the U.S. More than 5.4 million acres burned in result to human-caused wildfires. This year alone in the U.S. there are approximately 4,898,542 acres and counting that have be destroyed due to wildfires. Once a wildfire gets going it can burn at a rate of almost 15 miles per hour. Sadly, over 900 homes are burned each year because of wildfires. There are a number of fires going on right now. In Riverside County there is the Buck Fire. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, already 3 thousand acres have been burned and the fire is 15% contained. A Cal Fire spokesman, Rick Vogt, said that the fire is fuel driven. The dry grass and brush are what is feeding this fire. Luckily, the winds have been somewhat calm. There are certain precautionary tips that we need to keep with us during the dry hot seasons.
What Causes Wildfires
Although wildfires can be caused by natural forces like lightening or simply the heat of the sun but, nine out of ten wildfires are caused by humans. Some of the common causes for the start of human-caused wildfires are arson, campfires, throwing out still lit cigarettes, improper burning of debris, playing with matches and fireworks and prescribed fires. Other factors include past fire suppression policies that allowed fallen leaves, branches, and excessive plant overgrowth in forest and wild land areas to accumulate. Also, the increase in dry and hot weather and the variation in the weather pattern have also played a role in the start of more wildfires over the years. There are three components to a fire. Of these three things are fuel, oxygen, and heat. Heat and oxygen are two things that are beyond our control, but fuel is another thing. All it takes is for someone to throw a cigarette out of their window on a hot summer’s day and a fire can quickly set off. We need to be conscience of the things that were are doing with fire.
How to Prevent Wildfires
There are a number of ways that we can prevent wildfires. For the most part, when people go camping they tend to be in places away from the city life. There is typically more wildlife and forestry around. It is very important that you know how to safely build and dispose of campfires. First and foremost, you want to keep your campfire at a safe and manageable size. Never leave the fire unattended, not only is this dangerous for starting a fire, but is also dangerous if you have little ones around. It is okay to use large pieces of wood that you find around you, but never cut off branches from live trees to use for your campfire. To extinguish the fire be sure to pour lots of water on it until the hissing sound stops. Drown all of the embers in water, not just the ones that are glowing red, all of them. A big reason campfires cause wildfires is because there are embers that are still hot and burning. If you do not have water then you need to use dirt. Lastly, stir around what is left in the campfire and make absolute sure that everything is drenched and no longer lit. If you smoke, make sure you have an ashtray in your car. Do not throw your cigarette butts out of the window. Smoke only near concrete surfaces away from dry, overgrown brush. At home, clear away all flammable debris. Make at least a 100-ft perimeter free of debris around your home. Check all smoke detectors around your house to make sure that they are working properly. Home Security Store offers a variety of fire alarms and smoke detectors. For example the DSC2-Wire Photoelectric Smoke Detector. With their affordable prices and low-profile design, they can be the perfect fit for any home. They also have the By completing these precautionary steps as well as using common sense, we can make a big differences in preventing wildfires.
If you see a wildfire you need to immediately call 9-1-1. In these situations you do not want to assume someone already has. If the wildfire poses as a threat to your home is vital you make your home visible for firefighters to see it to try and save it. These things should only be done ONLY if you have time. Most importantly you want to make sure that you can evacuate safely. If you do happen to have time though, leave all doors unlocked and lights on so that the firefighters are able to see your home through the smoke. Shut off your gas and disconnect your garage doors so they can be opened by hand if the power goes out. You will also want to take with you all of the valuables that you absolutely cannot live without.
During this very hot time with dryness all around it is important that we not only do our part are preventing wildfires, but also make sure that we are aware of how they start. Wildfires can start instantly and move very fast so it is our responsibility to make certain we are prepared if disaster hits.