SEPT 5 & 6 2024

LA Convention Center

Reflecting On Wildfire Awareness Month: Wildfire Prevention & Preparation Tips

Every year, May marks the start of Fire Season in the Northern Hemisphere, so many environmental institutions, such as the WFCA, NIFC, and U.S. Department of Energy,  have declared it Wildfire Awareness Month. Across vulnerable communities and beyond, the month is dedicated to growing awareness of wildfires and how they start, highlighting preparation and prevention methods. 

As Wildfire Awareness Month starts to draw to a close and the peak of fire season starts poking its head around the corner, we thought we would put together this piece to reiterate some valuable information about wildfire prevention and preparation. This guide should offer simple, actionable tips homeowners and citizens can use to protect themselves, their families, and their property. 

Wildfire-Prone Areas in the U.S.

Wildfires are a common hazard across the United States, with a shocking 1 in 6 citizens under constant and significant wildfire risk. However, it’s important to note that not every area of the country is under the same risk. 

The most at-risk locations in the U.S. include California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, with western states generally more threatened than those on the east coast. Exceptions to this rule include Florida, New Jersey, and the Carolinas. 

Common Traits Across Wildfire-Prone Areas

    • Dryness: Most of these areas generally have dry climates, with their summers having particularly low humidity levels.
  • Seasonal Winds: In many under-threat areas, seasonal winds can carry and exacerbate the spread of wildfires. 
  • Flammable Foliage: Some of the locations are packed with flammable shrubs, forests, and grasslands, also packed with dead vegetation that adds fuel to the fire. 
  • Hilly Terrain: Fire travels uphill quickly, which is why mountainous and hilly areas tend to be more at risk of devastating fires. 
  • Population Density: The terrain and climate of these locations are usually paired with high population density, with human activity increasing the likelihood of fires. 
  • Unpredictable Weather: Areas like California are prone to lightning storms and hot, dry winds, known for triggering and spreading wildfires. 

If you live in a vulnerable area, it’s especially important to understand how to prevent wildfires and prepare your property when they come around. If you’re unsure of your area’s threat level, check a chart, such as the one offered by The Washington Post.

Wildfire Prevention & Preparation

Whether you live in an at-risk area or not, it’s important to understand how to prevent wildfires personally and know some preparation methods for when they inevitably come around. It only takes a small spark to trigger a devastating blaze, so every individual needs to play their part. 

Wildfire Prevention Tips

Everyone can utilize these simple, actionable tips to ensure they don’t start a fire. 

Practice Safe Fires

It sounds obvious, but campfires, bonfires, and barbecues must be practiced safely. This means setting up suitable fireproof barriers, ensuring they’re consistently attended to, and dousing and then covering them once over. Also, never start a fire on a windy day! 

Smoke With Caution

If you smoke cigarettes, make sure to do so with caution and mindfulness – e.g. don’t just throw away butts and matches willy-nilly, especially not in potentially volatile areas. It’s also vital to keep lighters away from children. 

Use Fireworks Safely

While fireworks might sound crazy during fire season, the 4th of July only comes around once a year, and celebrations are bound to happen. If you must light fireworks, it’s vital to follow every specific safety measure described on the packaging and more

Mindful Parking

Believe it or not, parking your car could start a fire. When a hot undercarriage comes into contact with dry, arid grass it can cause the vegetation to smolder, leading to a fire. It’s also vital to ensure you never allow gasoline or fuel to spill onto vegetation. 

These are some simple preventative measures that everyone should keep in mind for Wildfire Awareness Month and beyond. All they take is a little bit of mindfulness and their positive impacts can be monumental. 

Wildfire Preparation Tips

While preventative measures are vital, there’s only so much each individual can do. When fires come around, you must be sufficiently prepared. 

Defend Your Home

To safeguard your home, consider establishing a defensible space around the property. This process can involve tasks such as surrounding the space with fire-resistant plants, allowing for space between the home and the property’s border, and trimming the grass.

Plan an Escape Route

Make sure that you’ve put together a detailed evacuation plan for escaping the property if things reach critical danger. This means working out your easiest route to safety, having backup plans, and keeping suitable clothes nearby.

Stay Updated with Alerts

Tune into any local radio stations, alert systems, or government groups to get the best lay of the land in terms of the next steps. If the overriding opinion leans in one direction, follow the crowd and don’t try to stick it out. 

Prepare a Kit

While you should leave almost everything at home, you must get an emergency preparedness kit together to maximize safety while escaping. These should be packed with things like water, masks, and portable chargers. 

Fires are extremely dangerous, but they don’t have to be devastating every time. With the right degree of preparation, you should be able to handle yourself and your family unit with minimal damage. 

These prevention and preparation tips have been repeated numerous times throughout Wildfire Awareness Month, but they only scratch the surface. For a comprehensive understanding of wildfire safety, it’s best to consult experts in the field. 

Tech on Fire Trail at Disasters Expo California

This year’s Disasters Expo California will feature the Tech on Fire Trail – a curated exhibition section, focused on platforming the latest fire-fighting techniques and technologies. Showcases in this section will feature fire-suppression tools, such as AI sensors, early systems, and property defense supplies, giving a full perspective of the tools that can be leveraged against fires. 

Businesses on this year’s Tech on Fire Trail include: 

Whether you work in the fire fighting space, operate in broader disaster management, or are simply interested in the industry, this feature is just one of many things to engross yourself in at Disasters Expo California. Along with this element, the show will also feature hundreds of other exhibitors, a range of expert speakers, and thousands of disaster management professionals to converse with. 

Don’t miss out on this monumental opportunity to push emergency response forward. Register for tickets now