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4 Tips to Prepare for the California Wildfire Season

June 21, 2023 · Wildfire

California wildfire season is almost upon us. The number of wildfires that happen in a year varies. Last year, California faced 7,490 wildfires during wildfire season, which was still 256 fewer than in 2021. These wildfires can have devastating effects on your home, your health, and your family. The best way to make it through the season without too much fire damage is to prepare. 

In this article, we'll cover what to expect from this wildfire season, how to prepare, and what to do if the worst happens.

When Is Wildfire Season in California?

According to predictions from Accuweather, peak wildfire season this year will begin in August and continue through November. Why do wildfires happen in California? Climate change, the heat, and drought season are all factors. 

The storms from this past winter had a positive and negative impact on the prognosis for this year's wildfire season. On the one hand, it combatted the drought conditions that often plague California. On the other hand, the storms blew down many trees, leaving "fuel" for the coming wildfires. This is why peak wildfire season is occurring a little later this year, when in past years it had started in July.

Where Are the Wildfires in California?

With how many wildfires there are in California, the entire state is at risk, but Central and Northern California tend to be the most impacted. The Sacramento foothills and Sierra Nevada mountains, for instance, are heavily wooded, which offers plenty of kindling for California wildfires to spread. However, experts also claim that the snowpack from the winter storms earlier in the year will help keep wildfires at bay for a while in the Sierra Nevada. Wildfire season may be coming later there, but locals know to be prepared for when it does come.

Prepare for the California Wildfire Season With These 4 Tips

What damage do wildfires cause? They can damage or even destroy your home, impact your health, or harm or even take the lives of your loved ones. You may not be able to stop the wildfires yourself, but you can take steps to prepare and protect yourself and your family. Here are our tips.

1. Clear Away Flammable, Dry Vegetation From Around Your Home

Branches, dead leaves, and dry vegetation can all serve as perfect fuel in the midst of wildfire season. Your goal is to keep the wildfires away from your home as much as possible. Before wildfire season begins, take some time to clear away flammable, dry vegetation and debris from around your home and yard. You can also run a sprinkler in your yard to keep the grass and any produce or flowerbeds from drying out during the summer.

2. Ensure That Your Fire Alarms, Air Filtration System, and Fire Extinguisher Are All in Working Condition

These three features will be your lifelines during the wildfire season. Fire alarms will alert you if there is a fire in or near your home so you can protect yourself and your family. An air filtration system will help to purify the air inside your home even when there is too much smoke and ash in the air outside. Being able to breathe fresh air is more than just preferable; smoke inhalation damage can be just as devastating as fire damage. And a fire extinguisher will help you contain small fires that occur in or near your home.

Before wildfire season begins, make sure your fire alarms, air filtration system, and fire extinguisher are all working properly. Give yourself time so that if they are not in working condition, you can have them repaired before wildfire season begins.

3. Stock Up on Food and Essentials

There will be times when it will be much safer to stay inside than to go outside. As the air in your area becomes thicker with smoke, you'll want to be sure you have everything you need in your home. Stock up on food and essentials while the air quality is still relatively clear. You can store the food for longer by keeping it in the freezer rather than in the refrigerator. Make sure that you have toilet paper and any hygiene products you need to stay inside for the length of time that wildfire smoke is a problem.

4. Create a Wildfire Action Plan

What happens if a wildfire comes close to or reaches your home? Do you have a plan for getting everyone out of the house safely and calmly? Sit your family down to make a wildfire action plan, and consider practicing it a few times before the wildfire season begins.

One of the biggest questions when you have to suddenly evacuate is where to go. Before the wildfire season starts, ask a friend or family member if you'll be able to stay with them. Make sure this is someone who lives in a different area, if not outside of California entirely. Your wildfire action plan will also need to take certain considerations into account, such as:

  • An emergency meeting place away from the fire where your family can regroup and make sure that everyone made it out safely
  • Multiple escape routes when evacuating, in case your preferred escape route is blocked off
  • An evacuation plan for pets, including large pets that live outdoors, such as horses
  • A designated contact outside the family who anyone in the family can reach out to in case you are separated
  • An emergency supply kit for each member of the family, as well as an extra packed in the car
  • What to do if you have to file California wildfire insurance claims

Once you have a wildfire action plan, make sure your neighbors know. This way, if a wildfire reaches your community, they will know where your family has gone or where your kids should be. Even if you live alone, you will still want to create an action plan and let your neighbors know. 

If You're a Victim of Devastating Wildfire Damage, Contact Us

If you develop health problems, lose a loved one, or lose your home due to wildfire damage, you may be entitled to compensation. Daniels Law is a local California wildfire law firm with experience handling wildfire cases. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a consultation.

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