JoAnne Skelly: Are you ready to evacuate in case of a wildfire?
Wildfires are devastating, often with heartbreaking results, as the poor families who lost their homes in the Caughlin Fire just found out. Our hearts go out to them.
Until the Caughlin Fire, many of the people affected did not really consider themselves as living in a wildfire-prone area. However, much of Northern Nevada is considered a high fire hazard environment. It possesses the right kind of weather, vegetation and topography to support wildfires. Think about the Waterfall Fire in Carson City, the Autumn Hills and Ray May fires in Gardnerville, or the Toll Road fire in Storey County. Those are just a few of the many fires that occur in Nevada each year. Within this high fire hazard environment are individual houses, subdivisions and entire communities. Many are not prepared to survive a wildfire.
How many of us are prepared to evacuate? If you were told to get out in five minutes, would you know what to do? Preparation before a fire occurs can help you respond more quickly and effectively if a fire happens. For evacuation tips and what you will need to do, see the evacuation guide at University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Living With Fire website, http://www.livingwithfire.info. For more detailed evacuation information as well as other before the fire activities, download Fire Adapted Communities: The Next Step in Fire Preparedness (Carson City version).
You will find information on:
• clothes to wear
• equipment to have on hand
• family members and pets
• essential items
• what to have inside and outside the house before you leave
At livingwithfire.info, you also can find information on what you need to prepare before a fire, how to respond during a fire and what to do after a fire has occurred. Living With Fire is sponsored by Nevada Division of Forestry, Bureau of Land Management, Sierra Front Wildfire Cooperators, U.S. Forest Service, Nevada Fire Safe Council, Nevada Insurance Council and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.
Many people thought fire season was over, but the Caughlin Fire proved it’s not a question of if a fire will start, but when. There is nothing you own worth your life. Be ready to evacuate immediately in case of an emergency. Be prepared.
• JoAnne Skelly, the Carson City/Storey County Extension educator for University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-887-2252.