You can best understand the significance of wildfire prevention with overwhelming statistics. According to the US Forest Service, around 7.5 million acres are lost to wildfires across the United States every year. Moreover, 9 out of 10 wildfires are due to humans. These wildfires result in loss of property and scarce natural resources. Among the numerous strategies for preventing and controlling wildfire, the most effective one is never to let it happen in the first place. Everyone needs to know about wildfire prevention to ensure wildlands and those who live around them are safe. You can be a responsible citizen by following and spreading these wildfire prevention tips.
Report Unattended Fires
If you go out and you see a large or even a small fire unattended or getting out of control, immediately call the local fire department or 911. Whether big or small, you should not ignore any fire. Depending on the conditions, it can turn into a massive fire.
Check Weather Conditions And Build Your Campfire In An Open Location
Many people who go camping enjoy campfires during their stay. But your campfire can cause massive wildfires if you do not make or extinguish it properly. Avoid fire when it’s hot, dry, or windy. Also, take the following precautions while building a safe campfire :
- Choose an open, flat location away from flammable materials such as bushes, logs, or decaying leaves.
- Scrape away grass and clear the area for the campfire.
- Cut down the woods in short lengths and pile them within the cleared area to light the fire.
- Do not leave your fire unattended.
- Extinguish it entirely before leaving.
Never Use Fireworks With Woods Nearby
You should never use fireworks unless there’s a wide-open area with no flammables nearby. One spark can set the whole forest on fire without you even knowing it. Also, check with your local ordinances as many restrict fireworks.
Check Your Vehicle And Regularly Maintain It
While driving off the roads within dry crops and residue, you need to take extreme caution to prevent wildfires. Sometimes, the exhaust temperature is too high, which can even set dry grass on fire leading to a potential fire in nearby forests. To prevent wildfire causing from your vehicle, take the following precautions :
- Get your vehicle technically checked
- Always carry a shovel and a fire extinguisher with you
- Don’t park your vehicle on the dry grass, especially near forests
- See that the spark arrestors are functioning properly
Never Burn Trash Where It’s Windy Or Restricted
If you burn your trash, make sure you follow the local ordinances. Most areas restrict trash-burning when it’s windy or where conditions can spark a wildfire. If you burn any trash or agricultural waste inside your private property, ensure you have plenty of water nearby or a fire extinguisher to put off the flames if necessary. Once you’ve burned the trash, put water on the debris to cool down the sparking ashes. Wildfires can also start from debris piles that are not properly extinguished days or even weeks after they were burned.
Be Careful While Using Flammable Liquids
Use extreme caution while using propane to refill lanterns, stoves, or heaters. Fill these devices only after they’re completely cooled down. Flammable liquid can ignite a heated lantern. Moreover, store these liquids away from food and other items and regularly check them for any leaks. Also, avoid direct sun exposure to prevent flashing.
The Bottom Line
If you spot a forest fire, stay calm and report the fire as quickly as possible. You can ensure the fire does not start at a huge level or is extinguished before getting out of control by following the prevention tips. If you go camping, obey local laws regarding open fires.
If you live in a dry area, make a fire-safe zone around your house by cleaning dry grass and debris. Moreover, you should have an evacuation plan (well-practiced) if you live in a high-risk area.