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Wildfires stay in the forest only if firefighters can keep them there, so your property can be threatened.  Remember that public service announcement that ended with the echoing words, “I never thought … we were living in the forest.”

  • Outfit your property with fire extinguishers and work up a neighborhood wildfire.

Know where to get emergency information (usually radio or television).

  • When wildfire threatens: clear all foliage within 100 feet of your structure; keep your vehicle parked in the open, facing the direction you would evacuate – and know where the keys are at all times.
  • Much of your structure fire plan will be applicable, like the two or more escape routes from each room.  Know your plan, and use it.
  • As evacuation grows more likely; close windows, vents and doors, turn off gas at main as well as pilot lights and propane tanks.
  • If you have a fireplace, open the damper and close the screens; move furniture to the center of the structure; wear long-sleeved shirts and long-legged pants and have a wet kerchief available to cover your face.
  • If time permits as you leave, wet any shrubs within 15 feet of the home.  This is not just to protect the shrubs; since they will kindle before the home, they increase the risk to the structure.
  • Know where to meet to count heads; your wildfire plan’s provision should be much farther away than the one in your structure fire.
  • Since a wildfire is more likely to take on community proportions than a structure fire, have an out-of-town contact whom all family members who are not together will call.
  • Just as you never go back into a burning building, do not return to the evacuated area until authorities tell you it is safe to do so.
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