The right conditions, including extended drought, dry, hot weather, and high winds can create high wildfire risk anywhere. The Michigan State University website described some horrific wildfires that occurred in the Michigan and Wisconsin areas. After learning about the wildfires last year in Fort McMurray in Canada and the Gatlinburg fires in Tennessee that both caused substantial loss, I realized now more than ever that the potential for a mega wildfire can occur anywhere.
- The Peshtigo fire that devastated an area of 2,400 square miles in 1871 on the Wisconsin-Michigan state line and claimed 1,300-1,500 lives.
- The Thumb fire in Michigan 10 years later that claimed 282 lives.
- The Mack fire of 1980 in Michigan that claimed the life of one firefighter and destroyed 44 homes.
- The 2006 Hughes Fire that incurred suppression costs of almost million dollars.
These fires caused terrible losses in an area of the country that many people don’t think of when they think of a wildfire risk. The site has some PSA’s that highlight how working together as a Firewise Community can lessen the risk of loss due to a wildfire. The site highlighted a Firewise community in Michigan, AuSable River Community Estates, that is still a Firewise community today! Duane Pinkleman the chair of the Firewise Community, shares in the PSA how it is only “common sense” and is not an expensive thing to do, to use Firewise principles to protect your home.
Download the Firewise toolkit today and learn how you can protect your home. You can take steps starting today to make wildfire preparedness changes in your community happen!