Arizona is one of the most populated states in the United States with about 5.6 million people. However, this population is spread out across a vast geographic area that makes state response times difficult. The combination of these factors can make it easy for wildfires to get out of control and threaten homes and communities throughout the state.
There are currently fires burning in Arizona on a year-round basis as well as during the summer months from June through September. These fires not only pose a danger to humans if they enter into an area where fire has broken out, but also pose a danger to wildlife and livestock if they venture into an area that is unsafe for humans. There are several ways you can prepare for any future fires that may take place in your neighborhood or community, or even save your family if one occurs:
Check for and Clear Drying Season Conditions
The most important step to taking is checking for and clearing drying season conditions. If a wildfire has started, this can be the first on your list of steps in order to prevent it from spreading to other regions.
You can use several types of clues to recognize that the fire hazard is high and potentially dangerous, such as:
●New hot spots or damage
●Smoke or ash ●Unusual smells ●Haze
●Temperature increase ●Winds
Have a Fire Safety Plan
Have a fire safety plan in case a wildfire happens near your home or where you work. If a wildfire occurs, the plan should include evacuation procedures, meeting places, and emergency contact information including phone numbers of family members.
This plan needs to be written down so that it is accessible to everyone in the family. Also, this plan needs to be practiced so that those who need it know what to do.
Know the Warning Signs of a Fire
There are several warning signs that can be a sign of an active wildfire or other dangerous situation, such as fire or smoke seen in the sky. The most obvious indication would be when you see flames, smoke, or feel the heat from a fire. Another sign may be when you detect a strange smell. Fire and smoke can indicate that there is something else burning nearby such as a fuel source. A more specific sign may be that it is night time and you don’t have sun shining on your property while the rest of your neighborhood has sunshine. If there is no sunlight on your property, this could mean that the fire has moved closer to your home or it’s hiding in the shadows so it’s harder to see.
If you see these signs, call 911 immediately to report any fires nearby.
Stay Alert During Hot Weather
-Monitor local weather forecasts and listen to alerts.
-Do not leave trees or other flammable items that could catch fire unattended.
-If you are near an area that could be prone to fires, use vegetation clearance techniques to reduce the risk of your property catching fire.
-If you have a large amount of leaves or other organic material, consider picking them up and disposing of them in accordance with local regulations.
-Avoid storing or burning items that are not allowed in outdoor burn piles such as plastic, tires, and household trash. These materials may spark a wildfire if they come into contact with a hot surface or light material.
Avoid Smoking When You Are Outside
It is critical to avoid smoking when you are outside because the embers of your cigarette can easily spark a wildfire.
If you are smoking while outside, make sure that your cigarettes are done before you leave. If you have a fire nearby, be careful not to start it inadvertently by using a burning cigarette.
Stay Resilient During Times of Emergency
The most important thing you can do is to be prepared for any future fires that may take place in Arizona. The key to staying resilient during times of emergency is to ensure you have an emergency kit that includes a fire extinguisher, a bucket, and anything else you would need to put out the fire quickly. These items should be kept at home or work and stored in a waterproof container so they are ready when needed. Another way to stay resilient is by practicing your escape plan at least twice a year with family members and friends.
With the increased risk of wildfires, it is important to take precautions and learn how to avoid fire risks. If a wildfire should happen, there are safety tips that can help you stay safe.
1. Check for and Clear Drying Season Conditions
2. Have a Fire Safety Plan
3. Know the Warning Signs of a Fire
4. Stay Alert During Hot Weather
5. Avoid Smoking When You Are Outside
6. Stay Resilient During Times of Emergency