As of July 30 of this year, at least 14 wildfires were spread throughout California. This year alone, wildfire conditions have been the worst in history along the West Coast, but wildfires have the potential to affect most areas of the U.S. and Canada. Within just 13 states, $237 billion in property is at risk of damage by wildfire.
Wildfires can last for weeks while smoke and ash can linger for much longer afterwards. Smoke, ash and soot have corrosive chemicals that can lead to significant damage to the structure and building material, as well as the contents of a property.
Paul Davis suggests the following tips for protecting people and property from the dangers of wildfires:
- Choose building materials, furnishings and plants that are fire resistant.
- Prune trees and shrubs away from the home.
- Consistently clear roofs and gutters of tree branches, leaves and other plants.
- Water the lawn using local guidelines and clear the landscape of fallen leaves and other debris.
- Have an evacuation plan in case your area is threatened by a wildfire.
If a wildfire sparks 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 family’s health and seek medical attention if you experience symptoms such as persistent coughing, throat soreness or difficulty breathing.