Wildfires

 

Fire Safety and Wildfire Preparedness

Fire Safety and Wildfire Preparedness

Wildfires (also known as a brush fire, forest fire, desert fire, or vegetation fire) are uncontrolled fires in areas in which combustible vegetation can be found.  Practicing good fire safety is paramount when wildfires may be imminent. These fires can be started by natural occurrences, such as lightning and volcanic eruptions, or by man-made sources, such as accidents, carelessness, military action, terrorist activity, or arson.  Droughts, heat waves, and climate changes can impact the behavior of wildfires. According to a recent study, wildfires, and related burns, kill 339,000 people worldwide every year.  The majority of the recorded deaths are in Sub-Saharan Africa, followed by southeast Asia.  The death toll is lower in the United States and Canada, but property damage is in the multiple billions annually.  Millions of acres are consumed each year by wildfires. The largest, though not deadliest, wildfire in American history was Great Fire of 1910.  It was dubbed the Big Burn and approximately three million acres in Idaho, Montana, and Washington state.  Eighty-seven individuals, mostly firefighters, lost their life in the event.  The largest wildfire in North America was the 1950 Chinchaga fire in British Columbia and Alberta, which destroyed around 3.5 million acres. While a fearsome force of nature, there are preparations that private citizens and home owners can take today to help mitigate against the ravages of wildfires.  The following are some steps to take before and during a wildfire event. Fire Safety – Preparing for a Wildfire Read up on the the dangers of wildfires and how to be prepared.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), state level organizations, the American Red Cross, and citizen-initiated groups all publish...
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