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A sobering post earlier this week on the USDA Blog gives us all a good reason to take stock of our wildfire safety efforts. Robert Westover with the Office of Communications for the USDA Forest Service comments that up until recently, the agency considered wildfires primarily a summer problem with a few regions breaking the trend in early spring and late fall. These days, though, he notes that climate change has affected wildfire season, making it a year-round threat.
Winter after winter, there has been virtually no winter in many areas in the Western US, contributing to a years-long drought, a slow-moving disaster that will impact not only lifestyles and economy in the stricken regions, but also incur ripple effects as agriculture in California, one of our nation's main food suppliers, is impacted.
The conditions are ripe for damaging wildfires in much of the country for much longer periods than in the past. There is no time like now to begin to live less dangerously from wildfire. Mr. Westover calls on readers to prevent accidental fires in his blog; and I'll add that we all should take steps to minimize potential loss from fire in light of our year-round threat. Check out the resources on NFPA's web page to find out what you can do to plan for, act on, and embrace wildfire safety. </p>