As of July 30 of this year, at least 14 wildfires were scattered throughout California. This year alone, fire conditions have been the worst in history along the West Coast, but these fires have the potential to affect most areas of the U.S. and Canada. Within just over 10 states, $237 billion in property is at risk of wildfire damage.
Wildfires can last for weeks while smoke and ash can linger for much longer afterwards. Smoke, ash and soot have 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:
- Buy building materials, furnishings and plants that resist fire.
- Cut back trees and shrubs away from the home.
- Consistently clear roofs and gutters of tree branches, leaves and other plant material.
- Keep lawn watered within local guidelines and clear the landscape of fallen leaves and other debris.
- Have an evacuation plan in case your area is threatened by a wildfire.
If a wildfire threatens or is in the area:
- Stay indoors, put the A/C 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.
- Keep an eye on your health and seek medical attention if you have symptoms such as persistent coughing, throat irritation or a hard time breathing.