Wildfire season is a result of human activity, drought, and wind from the months of May all the way to October in the state of California. As wildfire season approaches, many grow anxious waiting to see what is in store for them this year.

Long Term Effects

To put it shortly, a wildfire is an uncontrollable fire that spreads quickly, typically in a rural area creating destruction to ecosystems, natural resources, and at times, whole neighborhoods. In the months of June to November, there is a notable rise in temperature and when you pair this with a state that is constantly in a drought, the chances of wildfires increase significantly.

It is important to be conscientious and think about the consequences of your actions when you are in nature because destruction to the environment is irreversible. Wildfires are not easily put out. They take days, weeks, to even months, and sometimes human lives, to extinguish depending on the extent of how grand the wildfire is and how far it has spread. To make matters worse, wildfires contribute to climate change. They release large sums of carbon dioxide, black carbon, and brown carbon,  which damage the ozone of the planet. Wildfires create long-lasting consequences that the environment and individuals are left to deal with.

Campfire Safety

If you are considering going camping and decide you want to make a fire to cook some smores or sausages, make sure to follow the guidelines of the camping locations. Start by checking if you’ll need a California Campfire Permit. The application process is simple and can be completed within a few minutes. If you are in a national park, make sure to only create fires in the designated areas of the park. Any flammable material in close proximity to a fire, such as dead trees, or other organic matter, becomes a hazard. Combine this with air, which provides a myriad of oxygen supply, and a fire can spread far and become big within minutes. If campers are not properly equipped, they risk the chance of potentially starting a wildfire when they do not have the correct extinguishing tools. Remember the “drown, stir, feel” method. Poor water over your fire, stir the remains with a stick and then use the back of your hand to feel the ashes. Repeat the process until it is perfectly cool. It’s not just campfires you have to worry about. Something simple as a cigarette not being put properly put out can create the unimaginable.

 

    

 

Plan Ahead

While wildfires may seem normal to Californians, many are ill-equipped for them and are unaware of how to prepare for such an event. If you live in an area that is surrounded by trees, it is extremely crucial to establish a Wildfire Action Plan with your family. Familiarize yourself with the locations of your gas, water, and electrical shut-off. Create an evacuation route in case you need to escape your home quickly. As a part of your plan, make sure to have an emergency kit that includes a safety kit, water, facemasks, medicine, important documents and photos, clothes, batteries, a radio, and canned food. If you have pets, ensure that you have an emergency plan in place for them and an emergency kit with all necessary items. It's important to consistently monitor any wildfires that may be in your area and to keep up with all updates. Lastly, to dress appropriately for the wildfire season, it is recommended to wear long pants, cotton long-sleeve shirts, closed-toe shoes, glasses/goggles, and a face mask.

The safety of your loved ones and yourself is a priority. Here at Overdue, we hope this information can be of use in the circumstances that you are in such a situation.

 

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/21/couple-gender-reveal-party-wildfire-charged

https://www.ready.gov/wildfires#:~:text=Find%20an%20outdoor%20water%20source,Close%20all%20doors%20and%20windows.

https://www.airnow.gov/wildfires/

https://earth.org/what-causes-california-wildfires/#:~:text=Rising%20temperatures%2C%20drought%20conditions%2C%20and,fire%20season%20in%20the%20state