Preventing wildfires is always so much simpler than fighting them
Be prepared in case you need to evacuate:
- Keep important documents in a fireproof safe, on a USB drive, or store password protected documents online.
- Check your home insurance to make sure your policy protects your current home value and includes wildfires.
- Give yourself time and evacuate early if possible. If you can’t leave, designate a room that can be closed off from outside air in case air conditions become hazardous.
- Make your household emergency plan and go-kit. When making plans, don’t forget your pets!
- Make sure you know more than one way out of your neighborhood.
- Sign up to receive emergency alerts and notices for your community.
What about campers who build their temporary home away from home, whether that’s a tent or a motor home, in our parks and wilderness areas? For many families, a campfire is the best part of the great outdoors. Relaxing, spending time and sharing stories with each other around the glow of a crackling fire is the recipe for a magical evening. Next time you go camping, hiking, hunting, off-roading, climbing, or otherwise outside for a little fun, remember these tips on how to camp responsibly during fire season, courtesy of Parks Canada and FireSmart:
- Before you start a fire, always check for fire bans. They may be in place even if it is cold and rainy because they depend on burn conditions, not the weather.
- Build campfires in your site’s designated fire pit. These keep your fire controlled and contained.
- What about a fire permit? If you’re not sure you need one, check with your local municipality or the campground where you are staying before you start a fire.
- Never use gasoline to start a campfire. Make a safe, homemade fire starter with crumpled newspaper, dryer lint in egg cartons, cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly or greasy chips like corn chips. Or use a commercial fire-starter.
- Tend to your fire at all times while it is burning. Always keep a water bucket nearby in case of emergencies, and to put out the fire when you are done.
- Be sure to teach your children about the dangers of fire and safe fire practices.
- You can help with wildfire detection. Report any wildfires, illegal campfires or suspicious smoke to your province or state’s wildfire detection hotline or call 911 if the fire presents an imminent danger.
National Wildfire Awareness Month is a great time to review these simple measures and practices with your family. Because preventing wildfires is always so much simpler than fighting them!
In case you missed it, read Part 1!