Wildfires occur annually during the dry and hot seasons in some states in the United States. They’re almost becoming an annual disaster waiting to happen, and everyone who lives near natural forests is always at risk of one. These types of fires are uncontrolled and occur in natural vegetation such as grasslands, bushes, and forests.

The fires are highly feared due to their intensity and ability to spread rapidly from one zone to another. They are also very difficult to extinguish as many actors come into play during the mission such as strong winds, high temperatures and proximity to residential homes.

Wildfires can happen in any state and region as long as the environment is conducive for fires. However, they are more likely to occur in areas that experience drought, high temperatures, and dry conditions. There are many causes, including natural causes like lightning strikes, human careless activities such as unattended campfires, burning cigarettes, and malicious activities.

If you live in wildfire-prone areas, you need to be aware of how you can prepare to fight one and protect your property from damage. Understanding these fires and what steps to take can help you save your lovely home and loved ones.

Rather than providing you with a quick guide to rebuilding your home after a wildfire, learn and protect yourself from wildfires. Hence, this article will guide you on what causes wildfires and tips on how to prepare and respond to their threats.

Main Causes of Wildfires

There are as many reasons for wildfires as there would be for any other similar scenario. Given the opportunity, anything that can light a fire is a potential cause of wildfires. However, there are three main reasons wildfires are reported across the United States every other year.

The first cause is the most unpredictable one, as it can happen when we least expect it but can only be predicted due to the prevailing circumstances. Natural causes may include lightning strikes and extremely high temperatures during the dry season. When lightning strikes a tree, the burning branches can easily fall on the grass below and spread to other vegetation cover. The speed and intensity will depend on weather conditions and how dry the vegetation is.

Secondly, prolonged and extreme hot and dry weather conditions can also cause wildfires. High temperatures result in overheating of objects and combustible material on the ground. Over time during the day, the heat could easily ignite material like grass, simultaneously lighting the rest of the vegetation.

Finally, intentional or irresponsible human behavior is also a leading cause of wildfires during summer holidays. When people go camping, they use open fires to warm themselves at night and fireworks, which can lead to accidental fires. Also, careless behavior, such as improper disposal of smoking materials or burning wastes, can ignite a wildfire.

How to Counter Incoming Wildfires

Preparing for wildfires involves taking proactive steps to reduce your risk of fire damage and ensure your safety. Here are some essential tips to help you prepare for wildfires:

Building a Fire Barrier

When you plant plants or flowers during landscaping, choose fire-resistant plants and fire-resistant fencing materials for your yard. Keep your compound green by making sure it is well watered and always pruning dry matter. That will reduce the need to do thorough clearing and minimize the chances of a medium wildfire spreading to your house.

However, during intense fires, clearing vegetation and any form of inflammable materials around the proximity of your home is necessary. Remove dead or dry vegetation to create a non-combustible space. If there are tall trees, have their branches pruned to reduce fuel and remove shrubs which can cause flying fires. Ensure the clear zone is not less than 30 feet around your home to make it more effective.

Cleaning Roofs

If you live near a forest or trees surrounding your home, you will find leaves, pine needles, and other debris accumulating on your house roof. Regularly clean your roof by removing this dry matter, including the gutters, as they can fuel wildfires. Fit spark protectors to ensure that the cause of the fire never originates from your house.

Always Have an Emergency Plan

Wildfires come without knocking. Hence, you must always be ready for an exit plan for your family. Let everyone be always aware of the action plan in the event of a wildfire. Identify safe exit routes and where to meet.

Ensure your telecommunication channels are active and conduct home drills regularly to ensure everyone knows what to do in the event a wildfire approaches. Have an updated emergency kit containing necessary medical supplies for treating injuries, enough water and food, a flashlight, and important documents.

Staying Tuned to Current News

Finally, frequently during the day have one of your favorite news channels tuned to monitor local news, weather reports, and announcements from forest or fire departments. Keep emergency notifications on your smartphone and evacuate when the call is made.