A number of wildfires that have spread across Nevada, Washington and Oregon have prompted the governors of two of these states to declare states of emergency and calls for evacuation for hundreds of homes, according to news reports. As we previously have reported, high temperatures and continued drought conditions are to blame for the rash of fires, which, according to officials, are spreading rapidly across sections of these states.
USA Today reports that in Washington, The Chiwaukum Creek Fire has burned more than 1,200 acres and nearly 400 people have been told to evacuate, while another 800 homes are threatened. The Mills Canyon Fire has now burned more than 20,000 acres, but the good news there is, it is now 40 percent contained. To date, a state of emergency has been issued for 20 counties in the eastern part of the state.
In Oregon, Governor John Kitzhaber has declared a state of emergency … officials there report 13 fires are burning. The Buzzard Complex of fires in the eastern part of the state, according to the USA report, is nearly 90,000 acres, and the Bailey Butte Fire and two other fires have burned a combined 6,000 acres.
Both Nevada and California are also seeing their share of wildfire activity with a fire near Carson City burning 150 acres, and the Bully Fire in Shasta County, California, while it has burned more than 10,000 acres, thankfully is about 40 percent contained.
For those living in states with a high wildfire risk, NFPA has a handful of great resources to help you prepare ahead of a fire and information about what to do when a wildfire is burning in your area, tips on emergency/evacuation planning, putting together an emergency kit and so much more.
Take a look at our wildfire web pages where you can download tip sheets and checklists, view our map that shows where wildfires are in relation to your community, and read stories about homeowners like you, who are working together to create safer neighborhoods and reduce their risk of wildfire damage.
But with so many resources available, it can sometimes be confusing to know where to start. Take a look at some of the resources I mention above. Then, if you've got questions and need more information about your role in wildfire preparedness and how you can work together with your neighbors, contact the Firewise staff, or check out the Firewise and Fire Adapted Communities websites. We’re here to help in any way we can, and provide the guidance you need to get you started on the path to wildfire safety, today.