The 2016 California fire season is on its way – are you prepared?
In California, the combination of dry brush, high, arid winds, and intense heat make for the perfect conditions for fires, and lots of them. Typically, these fires rage in the hills and mountains, making those who live in these areas at serious risk of fire damage to their homes.
Each year people lose their homes and belongings to the California fire season, but this does not have to be you. In fact, there are ways you can protect your home before, during, and after the fire season has passed.
Why You Should Be Wary of This Year’s California Fire Season
California’s fire season usually comes at the end of the summer when temperatures have risen to the high 90s and low hundreds.
Due to the high heat, the dry air, and the parched plants, fires are more likely to occur as the winds pick up in September. This year’s fire season may be more dangerous, however, thanks to the ongoing California drought. The state has been experiencing the drought for the last few years, and with each subsequent year, the fire season becomes that much more dangerous. Perhaps even more alarming is the fact that this year’s El Nino was not what meteorologists had expected it to be, meaning that not even a dent was made in the statewide water shortage. Further, a wet El Nino winter may mean a hot, dry summer. Dry conditions and little to no water to go around will lead to extremely parched plants, which become nothing more than fuel for the coming fires.
The Drought: Not Enough Water to Go Around
Since El Nino was not what everyone thought it would be, the California drought is still well underway and gaining strength. Already Californians are dealing with strict water regulations put in place to conserve the wet stuff for people, plants, animals, and other needs.
If this year’s California fire season is as dangerous as many predict, it could mean even worse conditions for the drought. Water will have to be further rationed to help fight the fires, which could mean serious cutbacks for Southern California residents.
Even fewer showers, less watering for gardens and yards, and even drained pools are just some ways we might be able to make up for this increasingly severe water shortage.
Protecting Your Home
The best way to prepare for California fire season is to adopt the “Ready, Set, Go!” action plan set in place by Cal Fire. According to their site, 95% of all California wildfires are caused by human activity, meaning we play a major role in cutting down the number of fires that may ignite this season. To protect your home from wildfires, practice the following:
- Learn About Your Zones: One of the best protective mechanisms during California fire season is knowing your zones. This means you’re aware of the space around your home known as Defensible space. By knowing how to create and maintain at least 100 feet of defensive space around your home, you can protect it from a fast approaching fire. Defensible space is a literal buffer you create between your home and the natural setting around it. This space is important for slowing or stopping a fire from reaching your home. To learn how to create effective defensible space, go here.
- Reinforce Your Home: Reinforce your home using fire retardant and ember resistant building materials. Be sure to focus your attention on the roof, vents, eaves, windows, walls, decks, and more.
- Have an Emergency Kit Ready: You should have an emergency kit for each person in the household ready to go at all times in case evacuation is needed. Your kit should include proper clothing, plenty of water, food, medication, a map, first aid, a flashlight, important documents, money, and other necessities. It should be a part of your family’s action plan to ensure total safety when on the move.
The coming California fire season doesn’t have to spell out doom for your home. Understanding why you need to take steps to ensure the safety of your home and family can help you properly prepare. The California drought is upping the urgency this season by a considerable amount, but being prepared is still the best response to these unfortunate conditions. Jarvis Restoration services everywhere in the OC in one hour, meaning you can call us for tips, help, and assistance should the worst happen.