Are you and your family prepared for a wildfire?
What to do BEFORE a Wildfire:
- Create defensible space to separate your home from flammable vegetation and materials (minimum 30 ft)
- Learn your local fire and building codes and weed abatement ordinances. Follow them closely.
- Do not allow electrical wires to come in contact with any vegetation on your property. Do not trim power lines yourself. Call a professional instead.
- Make sure there is no overhang above your chimney.
- Prune branches lower than 8 feet from the ground.
- Keep nearby trees healthy – trim dying branches and cut down dead trees.
- If you stack firewood, make sure it’s a healthy distance from your home. The area surrounding your stack should be clear.
- Keep roof surfaces clear of debris.
- Clean chimneys and check and maintain spark arresters twice a year.
- Keep rain gutters clear of debris.
- Use approved fire-resistant materials when building, renovating or retrofitting structures.
- Be sure your house numbers show clearly from the street, both day and night.
- Combustible or flammable materials should be stored in approved containers.
- Store all important papers in a fireproof container or keep copies at another location.
- Make evacuation plans with family members. Include several options for an outside meeting place and contact person. Practice regularly.
- Keep battery-operated radios and flashlights with additional fresh batteries on hand.
What to do DURING a Wildfire:
- Stay informed – Turn on a TV or radio to get the latest emergency information.
- If you have a ladder, prop it against the house. Make it so you and firefighters have access to the roof.
- If hoses and adequate water are available set them up. Fill buckets with water.
- Remove combustible material from the area surrounding the house (lawn chairs, tables, etc.).
- Turn a light on in each room for visibility in case of smoke.
- Open or take down flammable drapes and curtains.
- Close all Venetian blinds and non-flammable window coverings.
- Move upholstered furniture away from windows and sliding glass doors.
- Be ready to evacuate all family members and pets when requested to do so.
- Turn off air conditioning/air circulation systems.
- Detach electrical garage doors. Back in your car and leave the keys in the ignition.
- Secure your pets if possible.
What to do AFTER a Wildfire:
- Check with fire officials before attempting to return to your home.
- Use caution when re-entering a burned area – flare-ups can occur.
- Check grounds for hot spots, smoldering stumps, and vegetation. Use your buckets of water.
- Check the roof and exterior areas for sparks and embers.
- Check the attic and throughout the house for hidden burning, sparks and embers.
- Continue to check for problem areas for several days.
- Contact 911 if any danger is perceived.
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