Wildfires: Advice to keep you safe

A wildfire is an unplanned fire that burns in a natural area such as a forest, grassland, or prairie.  They can be caused by humans or lightning and spread quickly, igniting brush, trees, and homes. These destructive events disrupt transportation, gas, power, and communications systems and cost billions of dollars every year.

If your community is victim to wildfire conditions:

  • Evacuate immediately if authorities tell you to do so.
  • If trapped, call 911 immediately. Turn on the lights to help rescuers find you. Be aware that emergency crews may be delayed or that conditions may make rescue impossible. 
  • Listen to emergency radio or local alerting systems for current information and instructions.
  • Use an N95 respirator mask to keep harmful particles out of the air you breathe.
  • If you are not ordered to evacuate but smoky conditions exist, stay inside in a safe location or go to a community building where smoke levels are lower.
  • Listen to authorities to know when it safe to return and if water is safe to drink.
  • Send text messages or use social media to reach out to your family and friends. Phone systems are often busy following a disaster. Make calls only in emergencies.
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