As of yesterday, at least 14 wildfires were scattered throughout the state of California. This year alone, fire conditions have been the worst on record along the West Coast, but wildfires have the potential to affect most areas of North America. Within just 13 states, $237 billion in property is at risk of wildfire damage.
Wildfires can last for weeks while smoke and ash can linger for weeks afterwards. Smoke, ash and soot contain corrosive chemicals that can cause significant damage to the structure and building material, as well as the contents of a property.
Paul Davis offers the following tips for protecting people and property from the impacts of wildfires.
- Choose building materials, furnishings and plants that resist fire.
- Prune trees and shrubs away from the home.
- Regularly clear roofs and gutters of tree branches, leaves and other plant material.
- Keep lawn and landscaping watered within local guidelines and clear of dead leaves and other debris.
- Create an evacuation plan and practice with your family in case your area is threatened by a wildfire.
If a wildfire threatens or is in the area:
- Stay indoors, put the air conditioner on recirculate, keep exterior doors and windows closed.
- Ensure clean air and HEPA filters are installed in air conditioning and or air purification units.
- Monitor your and your family’s health and seek medical attention if you experience symptoms
- persistent coughing, throat irritation, difficulty breathing
For more info on California wildfires, check out this article from USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2015/07/30/california-wildfires/30896079/