Wildfire

Smokey the Bear

During times of extended drought, wildland fires can erupt, causing extensive damage to parklands, homes, and businesses. Residents can take steps to protect themselves from the effects of these dangerous natural hazards.

Wildfires are fires that burn out of control in a natural area, like a forest, grassland, or prairie. They often begin unnoticed. They spread quickly, and can damage natural resources, destroy homes, and threaten the safety of the public and firefighters.

Humans cause most wildfires. It can be an accident, like when people don't take care of their campfire properly, burn debris, or are careless when getting rid of their cigarettes. It can also be on purpose, which is called arson. according to National Inter-agency Fire Center in 2017 over 88% of wildfires were caused by humans.

Although there are no guarantees of safety if you live in an area threatened by a wildfire, you can take actions to protect yourself. You should have an Emergency Plan and keep your emergency kit updated ( i.e. medication, family contact list etc.) . Being prepared can help reduce fear, anxiety, and losses for you, your family and community.

Prepare Now!

Meet with your family to decide what to do and where to go if wildfires threaten your area. Follow the steps suggested below to protect your family, home and property. you may get additional information from ready.gov
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • follow the city's twitter and/ or Facebook account to receive the most up to date information regarding to the evacuation routs and shelter locations
  • sign up for NIXLE  to receive updated emergency alerts from Los Angeles County Sheriff Department's Palmdale Station.  
  • Gather emergency supplies, including N95 respirator masks that filter out particles in the air you breathe. Follow the steps provided in the "Make a Plan" section of the site to create an emergency kit best serving your family. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including and updated asthma action plan and medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets.
  • Designate a room that can be closed off from outside air. Close all doors and windows. Set up a portable air cleaner to keep indoor pollution levels low when smoky conditions exist. when "Shelter In Place" notice is announced go to this room and protect yourself from the air pollution outside until the "Shelter In Place" is lifted.
  • Keep important documents in a fireproof, safe place. Create password-protected digital copies.
  • Use fire-resistant materials to build, renovate, or make repairs.
  • Find an outdoor water source with a hose that can reach any area of your property.
  • Create a fire-resistant zone that is free of leaves, debris, or flammable materials for at least 30 feet from your home.
  • Review insurance coverage to make sure it is enough to replace your property.
  • Pay attention to air quality alerts.

Wild fire prevention

Be careful with the way that you use fire and other items that can spark. This includes:
  • Extinguish cigarettes and other smoking materials in proper containers, and be sure not to flick cigarette out on highways, where they can set fire to dry grasses in medians and along frontage roads.
  • Avoid using chainsaws or other heavy machinery that can spark and cause a fire to form.
  • Make sure that you are maintaining your lawn and that it remains moist as much as possible. Doing this early in the morning is your best bet for keeping the moisture in the soil and in the plant.
  • Avoid outdoor campfires if possible, but if you do, be sure to use an enclosed container.
  • Make sure that trees and shrubbery are properly maintained, and avoid planting trees and bushes under awnings in your home.
  • If you live in a more rural environment, create defensible space 100ft around your home, by removing brush, overgrown trees or bushes, and planting succulent plants. This will allow firefighters to more easily defend your home in a wild fire.
  • Many fires in our region have been sparked by vehicles idling on tall, dry grasses. If you find yourself in a roadside emergency, if safe, try to park your vehicle on pavement and away from tall grasses. If you do have to park on a median, be sure to keep your vehicle off, to prevent the hot tailpipe from igniting grasses.

Wild Fire Warning VS Watch

in order to better understand the actions you and your families might have to take before and during a fire, it is important to understand the  terminology used to when dealing with wildland fires.
  • Red Flag Warning: Take Action. Be extremely careful with open flames. NWS issues a Red Flag Warning, in conjunction with land management agencies, to alert land managers to an ongoing or imminent critical fire weather pattern. NWS issues a Red Flag Warning when fire conditions are ongoing or expected to occur shortly.
  • Fire Weather Watch: Be Prepared. A Watch alerts land managers and the public that upcoming weather conditions could result in extensive wildland fire occurrence or extreme fire behavior. A watch means critical fire weather conditions are possible but not imminent or occurring.
  • Extreme Fire Behavior: This alert implies a wildfire likely to rage of out of control. If is often hard to predict these fires because such they behave erratically, sometimes dangerously.

While under the wildland fire warning:

  • Leave if told to do so.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Use N95 masks to keep particles out of the air you breathe.
  • If trapped, call 9-1-1.