Wildfire burning across the country are putting homeowners on heightened awareness. It’s a reminder that there are things we can do to prepare ourselves before an evacuation hits our neighborhood.
The National Interagency Coordination Center reported 16 uncontained wildfires were burning as of Tuesday June 26.
In Northern California, Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency Monday in Lake County where the Pawnee Fire is burning. Cal Fire reported this morning that more than 22 structures had been destroyed and 3,000 people have been evacuated.
Near Durango, Colorado homeowners remain on a pre-evacuation notice as firefighters work to get control of the 416 fire which forced them out of their community earlier this month.
Wildfires have threatened communities all over the nation in the last month, including fires in Arizona, Oregon, New Mexico & Texas.
It’s a reminder that we need to prepare our family and homes. When a wildfire is burning nearby your neighborhood, there are things you can do to make your home and family safer.
First and foremost, if an evacuation notice is given to your neighborhood, leave as early as possible. This not only ensures your safety, but it clears the roadways for firefighters to get equipment in place to fight the fire. Lynnette Round, a spokesperson with Cal Fire, emphasized the importance of staying aware and following evacuations. She told the Sacramento Bee sometimes people wait too long to leave.
Before you get an evacuation notice or if your home is on a pre-evacuation notice, here are 5 tips for protecting your family and home.
- Stay aware of the latest information on the fire from your local fire officials and local news media.
- Place your emergency supply kit and other valuables in your vehicle. If you have household pets, you’ll want to remember to include the supplies they will need as well.
- Move patio furniture indoors to a shed or garage. If you can’t do that, move them as far away from the home as you can.
- Close and protect your home’s openings, including attic and basement doors and vents, windows, pet doors and any openings that may allow embers to get inside your home.
- Connect your garden hose and fill any pools, hot tubs, garbage cans, tubs, or other large containers with water. Firefighters have been known to use the hoses to put out fires on rooftops.