Wildfires are extremely destructive forces that leave immense devastation in their wake. Each year, wildfires result in the deaths of thousands of people and animals, as well as the destruction of millions of acres of land. While a wildfire may seem like an unavoidable natural disaster, human activity causes most wildfires, which means they’re preventable. Here are some examples of what you can do to help prevent wildfires.
Exercise caution when burning debris or starting campfires
One example of what you can do to help prevent wildfires is to be extremely careful when starting a fire of any kind. The leading causes of forest fires are poorly attended campfires and debris burning.
Often, people who start fires don’t prepare properly or have the resources to extinguish the flames if they get out of control. In other cases, people will leave their fire unattended or abandon it before it extinguishing it fully, which can cause the flames to spread without them knowing.
To prevent these completely avoidable types of forest fires, it’s essential to keep plenty of water or an extinguisher nearby and to ensure that the fire is completely out before leaving it unattended.
Create defensible space around your home
In some cases, wildfires start from traveling embers or spreading flames from a house fire. To prevent a potential home fire from spreading out and devouring hundreds of acres of land, it’s important to create defensible space around your home.
Defensible space refers to a perimeter around your home that acts as a defensive barrier to prevent the spread of fire to neighboring areas. Creating defensible space around your home won’t just prevent forest fires, but it may also protect your home if a fire occurs in your area and is spreading through your neighborhood.
If you see something, say something
In addition to altering your own actions to help prevent the spread of wildfires, you should also hold others accountable if they are practicing risky behavior. If you see someone leave a fire unattended, light fireworks illegally, toss lit cigarettes on the ground, or engage in other risky behavior, don’t just look the other way. Contact your local fire department or park services to ensure that their actions don’t result in an out of control wildfire.