Take a second and “ash” yourself: Are you prepared for wildfires?

Life isn’t always a box of chocolates. Instead, it’s often like a jar of jalapeños, and what you do today might burn you tomorrow, especially when it’s wildfire season.

Nine of the 10 years with the most destructive — meaning total land burned — wildfires have occurred since 2000. A record high was set in 2015, when more than 10 million acres burned. And the length of the typical fire season has tripled because of human-caused wildfires, which made up 84 percent of wildfires from 1992 to 2012.

FEMA/Jana Baldwin
The U.S. Fire Administration is doing something about it and so can you. In the words of Smokey Bear, “only you can prevent forest fires” and here are six quick, practical ways to do that:

The first step is to prepare:
• Make an emergency plan. Learn your evacuation routes and create a communication plan.
• Make an emergency kit and keep it in an easily accessible place. Remember your pets!
• Make sure to have a way to receive emergency information from officials through radios, phones and other devices.

It’s also important to protect:
• Keep your home — roof, rain gutters — and surrounding area clean and your yard green. Assure that your house number is visible.
• Make a safety zone of up to 100 feet around your house that is free from anything easily flammable, including dry leaves, branches and propane tanks.
• Purchase insurance and furniture with fire safety in mind.

For more tips on how to reduce your wildfire risk, check out our Get Ready fact sheet and share with your friends, family and community.


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