Emergency Automated Telephone Notification During Fires

Article Written by:
Glenn Nader, University of California Cooperative Extension, Yuba City, CA


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In some areas, residents will receive a recorded call and/or text message from an automated telephone notification system on their cell phone. If authorities have enough time and personnel, fire services, law enforcement, or emergency responders generally attempt to stop at homes to personally alert residents during the evacuation. Media outlets may announce the evacuation, or it may be placed on local government Web sites.

The automated …

What To Do if Trapped in Car by Fire While Evacuating

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A structure offers more protection than a car, so if there is a building nearby, get inside it. If there is no building, then stay in your car. It will be safer than being out in the open with direct exposure to flames and radiant heat.

  • Park the car in a safe place that has little or no vegetation.
  • Turn on headlights and emergency flashers to make your car more visible during heavy smoke.
  • Close all windows and doors, shut

Deciding When It Is Too Late to Safely Evacuate From a Fire

Article Written by:
Glenn Nader, University of California Cooperative Extension, Yuba City, CA


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There is no universal answer to when it is too late to safely evacuate in a fire, as fire location and speed will vary greatly. In general, traveling on the roads when the fire is in the area increases the risk. The closer the fire, the more dangerous it is to be on the road as smoke can limit visibility, and evacuation routes can be cut off …

Making Evacuation Less Stressful

Article Written by:
Glenn Nader, University of California Cooperative Extension, Yuba City, CA


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Making Evacuation Less Stressful

Pre-fire planning and taking action ahead of time, including making a list of what to do and what to take with you, is the best way to reduce the potential stress of an evacuation.

Some pre-fire evacuation tasks include:

  • taking a home inventory;
  • developing and discussing a disaster response plan with your household that identifies planned actions, such as:
    • evacuation routes,
    • emergency meeting

How Do Wildfires Behave?

Article Written by:

  • Glenn Nader, University of California Cooperative Extension, Yuba City, CA
  • Max Moritz, University of California Cooperative Extension, Berkeley, CA
  • Stephen L. Quarles, University of California Cooperative Extension, Richmond, CA
  • Michael Kuhns, Utah State University, Logan, UT

What You Need to Understand to Protect Your Property from Fire

A basic knowledge of fire will greatly help you understand what you need to do to protect your house and property from a wildfire.

Fire is driven by heat transfer. …

Evaluating Damage to Your Home After a Wildfire

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Evaluating damage to your home after a wildfire should be done at the first opportunity. Your insurance agent should be the first person you contact. The agent will be able to tell you how to proceed with a claim. Do not start to clean up or throw away anything until your agent has inspected the damage. Do start taking pictures and video as soon as you arrive back home.

It may be necessary for a construction professional to come and …

Assessing Forestland Conditions After a Wildfire

Article written by: Yvonne Barkely, University of Idaho Extension, Moscow, ID


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The condition of your forestland after a wildfire should be assessed as soon as possible after the event. Fire-based forest ecosystems are extremely resilient and are supremely adapted to disturbance by fire. From a management perspective damages are defined as the unfavorable effects of fire-caused changes that make management objectives difficult to achieve or unobtainable. Benefits are the favorable effects of fire-caused changes and are factors that contribute to …

Safely Returning to Your Home After a Wildfire

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Safely Returning to Your Home after a Wildfire

Many homeowners wonder when it is safe to return to their homes after a wildfire. Once you are given the “all clear” to go home, what you should look for outside and inside the home to ensure you and your families safety?

In most states, permission to return home after a wildfire is usually given by a local fire or law enforcement authority such as your county sheriff’s office. They deem it …

Fighting Fire in the WUI

Article Written by:
Janean Creighton, Oregon State University Extension, Corvallis, OR and
Ron Hodgson, Fire Research and Management Exchange System


Photo by Chal Landgren, OSU

Firefighters’ ability to protect people and their property in wildfires depends on the intensity of fires they face. When homes and businesses are surrounded by landscapes that ignite easily and burn very hot, firefighters and homeowners cannot survive the heat released and must pull back or suffer serious injury or death. If whole neighborhoods are …