Wildfires not only burn millions of acres of land every year but also obliterate thousands of homes and cover cities in dangerous amounts of smoke.
If you are concerned about one day being in the crosshairs of a large wildfire, here is some information that can help you better understand the situation and what you can do to lessen the damage and better protect yourself and your family.
What is a Wildfire?
It’s an unintentional and uncontrolled fire that breaks out in a natural setting like a forest, grassland, or prairie. Wildfires come in three different varieties: crown fires, surface fires, and ground fires.
Plant roots and other organic material ignited beneath the soil surface cause ground fires. Surface fires, which burn dead or dried vegetation that is laying or growing slightly above the ground, might develop from these fires.
On the other hand, crown fires consume the entire tree canopy. These fires can spread quickly since the canopy has a stronger wind influence and is made up of linked vegetation.
How do Wildfires Typically Begin?
Natural causes such as heat from the sun or a lightning strike can start wildfires. However, people are responsible for a large proportion of wildfires.
According to research, discarded cigarettes, unattended campfires, debris fires, and arson account for around 85% of all wildfires in the United States.
Fuel, heat, and oxygen are the three ingredients required to start a wildfire.
There must be fuel available for burning before a fire may begin. Any flammable item, such as leaves, trees, grass, and even houses, can be used as fuel. The amount, size, form, and moisture level of the fuel all affect how quickly and at what temperature it will burn.
Fire is started by a heat source, whether it be from a natural or artificial one. All combustible substances produce fumes that ignite when heat is applied.
The last element, oxygen, assists the chemical reactions that take place during a fire. When a fuel burns, it reacts with the oxygen in the air around it to produce combustion, which releases heat.
When is the Best Time for Wildfires to Start?
Any time of the year is a possibility for wildfires. But in general, when a region experiences increasingly warm and dry circumstances, such a drought, the risk of wildfires rises.
Sometimes a period of above average rainfall precedes a dry spell, causing more plants and trees to develop. However, in times of drought, this flora typically wilts and dries up, lowering moisture content and offering plenty of fuel for wildfires.
Why Do Wildfires Cause So Much Damage?
In the last 20 years, there has been a marked increase in the destruction brought on by wildfires in the United States. Since 2000, a yearly average of 71,300 wildfires have consumed 7 million acres of land. 3.3 million acres on average were burned by wildfires in the 1990s, so this is more than twice that amount.
More than 10 million acres of land were burned during the worst wildfire season ever to hit the United States in 2015, which also cost more than $3 billion in losses and property damage.
Here are Some Tips for Preventing Wildfires:
Comply with local regulations regulating campfires and other open flames.
Keep everything that can catch fire away from it. Remove grass, twigs, and leaves from a 10-foot radius around the fire.
Keep accessible and nearby firefighting equipment.
A fire must always be attended to.
Dispose of hot charcoal with caution.
Put out every fire.
Carefully put out anything that is smoldering.
The following actions are advised for homeowners to take in order to safeguard their families and homes:
Create an evacuation zone around your home. Clear at least 30 feet of any flammable foliage and trash from the area surrounding the house and any outbuildings.
Trim away the evergreens’ lower limbs that are in the fire safe zone. During dry spells, evergreens often catch fire and burn quickly.
Cut back any branches that hang over the chimney or roof.
Clean gutters of leaves and needles on a regular basis.
Avoid keeping firewood in the fire safe area.
Use roofing materials that are fire resistant.
Ensure that firemen can locate and enter your home. Mark your home and the roadways clearly, and trim back any limbs or trees that are blocking the fire truck’s entrance to your driveway.
Create an escape strategy and test it.
Obey local and state laws against open burning.
Attend to outdoor flames until they are entirely extinguished and safe.
Toss wood ashes in a metal bucket after soaking them in water for a while.
If you see a wildfire, keep calm, go to the closest phone, and call 911 to call the local fire department as soon as you can.
Inform the emergency dispatcher in a calm manner of where and when you witnessed it. Note it and let 911 know if you notice anything strange at or close to the fire scene.
Until the dispatcher tells you to hang up, keep talking on the phone.
Now Here Are Some Tips if a Wildfire is Approaching Your Home:
If you believe it is unsafe to continue to stay in your home, always leave. If you feel threatened by a fire, do not wait to get an emergency notification.
You should also download the FEMA APP to get up to five places around the country real-time notifications from the National Weather Service.
Also, register for community alerts in your region and be aware of the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA), which doesn’t require registration, and the Emergency Alert System (EAS).
Emergency response teams routinely turn off the gas supply to stop a fire from being fed. By doing it yourself, you lower the risks to your house. Turn the gas off at the meter. To close any valves, turn the handwheel in a clockwise direction.
Extinguish pilot lights.
Never transfer propane cylinders close to a house or other building.
If you have a sizable propane tank, shut the tank’s supply valve.
Closing windows and doors can stop embers from entering a building and igniting combustible materials, which would cause the building to burn down from the inside out.
House Damaged by Fire?
If you own a home that has been damaged by fire, We Buy Fire Damaged Houses pays great prices in cash for burned homes. We also buy homes in as-is condition.
Fill out the form below to see if your home qualifies for a free quote.
Photo by Marcus Kauffman on Unsplash