More than 5.5 million acres have been burned by wildfires in the US this year. This is about 500,000 acres less than last year. California’s Dixie fire is the largest wildfire ever this year; It has burned over 900,000 acres and is currently 75% contained. According to the US Drought Monitor, drought is a major driver, as large areas of the West are currently dealing with the most severe levels of drought. On July 20, the National Interagency Fire Center listed the US at readiness level 5: “This is the highest national preparedness level. At this level, most firefighters are committed to the cause of the resources.” [to] Large amounts of wildfire activity across the country.”
2020 was a devastating year for wildfires in America: 10.1 million acres burned. California was particularly hard hit, with more than 4.2 million acres lost in wildfires, setting a state record. 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 these factors complicate wildfires, including how to manage them 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 shifted – wildfires flared well in late 2020, burning a record-setting 735,125 acres in December.
The predictions for this year’s wildfire season are concerning. We’ll update the section below regularly with resources on how to keep yourself, your family, and your home safe if you live in an area affected by wildfires, as well as if you live in a wildfire area. How to be more aware when traveling to an area prone to:
- Homeowners insurance covers some damages caused by major events like floods and fires, but not necessarily everything. Learn about additional coverage you may need if you live in an area prone to natural disasters, including wildfires.
- Nerdshala’s Dave Priest details your options for improving indoor air quality if you’re dealing with anything from allergies to wildfires to nearby smoke.
- There are a lot of natural-disaster resources out there, but you need to follow special guidelines if you have pets. Read tips from Cal Fire, FEMA and the American Red Cross on how to keep your pets safe before, during, and after a wildfire.
- There are many ways in which your phone can assist you in an emergency. Get details about how your Android phone or iPhone can provide vital resources in a variety of scenarios, when you need them most.
- : 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.