As of July 30, 2015, at least 14 wildfires were spread throughout the state of California. This year alone, wildfire conditions have been the worst on record along the West Coast, but wildfires have the possibility to affect most areas of the U.S. and Canada. Within just 13 states, $237 billion in property is at risk of wildfire damage.
Wildfires can be prolonged for weeks while smoke and ash can linger for much longer after the wildfire hits. Smoke, ash and soot contain corrosive chemicals that can cause significant damage to the structure and building material, as well as the inside of a house or business office.
Paul Davis suggests the following tips for protecting people and property from the dangers of wildfires:
- Choose building materials, furnishings and plants that are fire resistant.
- Prune trees and shrubs away from the home.
- Regularly clear roofs and gutters of tree branches, leaves and other plants.
- Keep lawn watered within local guidelines and clear the landscape of fallen leaves and other debris.
- Create an evacuation plan in case your area is in danger of a wildfire.
If a wildfire sparks or is in the area:
- Stay indoors, put the air conditioner on recirculate, keep outside doors and windows closed.
- Make sure clean air and HEPA filters are installed in air conditioning and/or air purification units.
- Monitor your health and seek medical attention if you experience symptoms such as persistent coughing, throat soreness or a hard time breathing.