Natural wildfires often start when lightning strikes ignite dry vegetation during the drought season. However, unlike other natural disasters, most wildfires are caused by people. In fact, in 2017 alone, humans caused over 63,000 wildfires worldwide, burning nearly 5 million acres of forests. But no matter the reason, wildfire prevention is essential to ensure the safety of the wildlands and those living around them.
Whether you have an established home or are still paying for a home mortgage or renovation loan, being proactive, and taking the initiative to prevent future wildfires can help you save your property, life, and the environment.
Here are five ways you can prevent wildfires from spreading.
Report Unattended Fires Immediately
If you’re ever out in the forest or elsewhere and see a fire you think that’s burning out of control or has no supervision, call emergency hotlines or your local fire department immediately. That’s because even the smallest campfires can turn into a massive wildfire in seconds. In essence, when you see something — say something.
Make Campfires Safely and Never Leave It Unattended
One of the most anticipated parts when going camping is lighting a campfire. However, be responsible enough and ignite one correctly and safely while paying close attention to it. Unattended campfires are one of the leading causes of wildfires. So, make sure to make your campfire with caution. Experts suggest building fires away from trees or dry vegetation and using only minimal fuel. After all, the wind can be unpredictable, so it’s best to play it safe.
Additionally, never leave your campfire without any supervision. When leaving the area, douse the fire with a bucket of water before leaving your campsite. Make sure the surface of your campfire base is cold to the touch.
Always Extinguish Fire Pits When Done
Whether you’re using a fire pit or a cozy campfire, ensure to extinguish it thoroughly when you finish with it. It’s best to use water or ashes to put out the fire. Plus, keep combustible materials like tents, other camping gear, branches, and kindling away from campfires or fire pits to avoid adding fuel to the fire. Finally, to prevent wildfires, tidy any area you stayed at to ensure there’s nothing that can ignite from an errant spark.
Never Throw Cigarettes Out of a Moving Car
Never throw smoking materials such as cigarettes or matches out of the car or ground when still lit. That’s because these have enough heat to make a spark, causing abrupt fire outbreaks. Many wildfires can get ignited carelessly by merely flicking a lit cigarette butt on the ground. So, ensure to extinguish any smoking material before throwing them away.
To prevent a wildfire from starting in the first place, the simplest thing you can do is be responsible and have some common sense. For instance, if there are strong gusts of winds in your area, never engage in any burning as the wind can act as an accelerant and spread the fire uncontrollably. Instead, burn what you need to in a calmer environment and far from any flammable materials.
Wildfires can be devastating to the forest’s ecosystem, burning trees, plants, and homes of both animals and humans without mercy. But by following the tips mentioned, you can help prevent fires from happening in the first place — saving lives and the environment.