About 700,000 acres of land have been burned by wildfires in the US this year. Drought is a major driver, as large areas of the West are currently dealing with the most severe levels of drought, dubbed an “extraordinary drought” by the US Drought Monitor.
2020 was a devastating year for wildfires in America: 10.1 million acres burned. California was particularly hard hit, losing more than 4.2 million acres due to wildfires, setting state records. According to the predictions of AccuWeather meteorologists, this year the wildfire season will again break records.
But drought is only part of the problem. Strong winds, high heat, low humidity and lightning also make wildfires more likely to start or spread. Others, like last year, started by accident. All of these factors are mixed, including how to manage wildfires once they start. .
There is no official start date for the wildfire season. It starts with the first wildfire of the year and ends with the last. Historically, wildfires are most likely to occur between May and October. Recently that paradigm has changed – wildfires raged well into late 2020, burning a record-setting 735,125 acres in December.
The predictions for this year’s wildfire season are concerning, and if you live in a fire-prone area, we’re regular with resources on how to protect yourself, your family, and your home. Will update the section below:
- : Learn how to secure and recover ID and other important documents to save your time and stress after a wildfire or other disaster.
- : Kent of Nerdshala lives in an area prone to German wildfires. Here he outlines the steps you need to take to prepare your home for wildfire weather, including everything from storing your propane tank to fire-resistant landscaping.
- There are tons of apps out there with information and resources on what you should do before, during, and after a natural disaster, including wildfire:
- : This detailed guide tells you what type of bag you need in the event of a natural disaster. It also lists items to pack—and why it’s important to bring them along.
There’s more to help guide your emergency planning and preparedness, so stay tuned for new stories right here. In the meantime, keep an eye on InciWeb for current information about wildfires in the US.