What Can I Do About Wildfires?

Cherie Laethem, Staff

Wildfires have been affecting California in recent years and they are not going to stop. So what can we do to prevent wildfires and what do we do if they happen? There are simple steps you can take in order to feel a little safer about wildfires.


The reason there has been so many wildfires recently is because climate change is increasing temperatures in California and causing more dead and dry plants. These plants make it easier for a wildfire to spread and get bigger but harder to put out. You alone probably can’t stop climate change, but you can do things to prevent wildfires. Are there dead plants near your house? Do something about them! According to readysandiego.org, “State law requires that residents treat 100 feet of defensible space around their homes. This includes such steps as mowing and properly maintaining lawn and weeds, pruning or removing ignitable trees and shrubs, stacking firewood away from the home and making sure the home’s address is visible to emergency vehicles.” 


Almost 85% of wildfires are caused by humans.  Simply things like not putting out a campfire or lighting fireworks could cause a wildfire that destroys homes. So put water on your campfire till it’s cold and don’t light fires near anything flammable. Fireworks are also a big fire hazard. According to sandiego.gov, “There’s really only one thing you need to know about consumer fireworks: all consumer fireworks are illegal in the City and County of San Diego. That includes sparklers, firecrackers, cherry bombs, bottle rockets and even poppers.”  


Sometimes though, wildfire prevention is not enough, and you have to be prepared. Have a plan of what to do if a wildfire comes and you need to leave your house. Think about where you would go. How can you leave your city? Who or what would you need to bring (pets, family, food, money) in order to leave? It’s a good idea to discuss this with your family and get them on board. If a wildfire does happen, listen to your local officials. While you prepare for a wildfire, you could prepare for other dissatures like a house fire or earthquake. Another idea is to donate to a charity that helps with wildfires, even if it doesn’t help you, your money could help someone else.


Wildfires are very dangerous, and it’s important to prepare. In California, wildfires are becoming unavoidable and something we see much more often then we use to. If you would like to know more about the subject, you can click the links below.