Forest Fire Awareness
2017 is shaping up to be a record breaking fire season. Last month’s wildfires in California damaged or destroyed more than 14,700 homes across several counties. Canada has recorded 4,870 fires so far this year, which have burned over seven million acres.
To help aid in fire prevention and help those in need, please find the following information in this article:
- The top causes of fires.
- Steps to take if you are on a fire watch or warning.
- A list of organizations that are assisting with the California fires as well as disasters worldwide, for those that want to help.
Top Causes of Fires1
- Smoking materials (i.e., cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc.) are the leading cause of fire deaths in the United States
- Arson and intentional fires, such as candles in a home
- General cooking, microwaves, cooking oil and turkey fryers
- Electrical safety in the home with circuit interrupters
- Heating, specifically heating fires in the winter
- Children playing with fire
What to Do During Fire Watches or Warnings2
- Sign up for local Emergency Notifications/Alerts
- Have an Evacuation Plan and a designated meeting place to reconnect after the evacuation
- Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice and follow evacuation orders
- Make sure there’s at least a 72-hour supply of important medications in your bag
- Remove deck/patio furniture, cushions and door mats to prevent ember ignitions
- Remove portable propane tanks from the deck/patio
- Know how to turn off the gas to the home
- Place a ladder against the house (for Fire Department use)
- Have your garden hoses connected (for Fire Department use)
- Make sure windows, doors and garage doors are closed
- Make sure windows are closed on vehicles that will remain at the residence while you’re evacuated
Ways to Help Fire Victims
If you wish to donate to the forest fire victims in California, below is a list of organizations aiding relief efforts. ISN Canada has supported the Canadian Red Cross in providing assistance to those affected by the wildfires, however, there are many organizations providing support.
Other common organizations that accept donations worldwide:
- Australian Red Cross
- British Red Cross
- Canadian Red Cross
- Direct Relief
- International Committee of The Red Cross
- The Salvation Army