Each year, California highlights the importance of wildfire prevention and preparedness by declaring the first full week of May as “Wildfire Awareness Week.” According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal FIRE), last year, California suffered through 9,133 wildfires that burned an area of 1,381,405 acres. Those fires included some of the most destructive in the state’s history, destroying huge areas of forests, grass lands, and structures as well as loss of life.
Approximately 95 percent of all wildfires are sparked by people, which means almost all wildfires are preventable. Here are some basic ways to stop a wildfire before it starts:
- Use outdoor powered equipment before 10 a.m. and never on hot and windy days.
- Do not use a lawn mower or weed trimmer with a metal blade to clear dead or dying grass.
- Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained with nothing dragging on the ground like trailer safety chains.
- Always follow “No Burn” orders and check Burn Day status before lighting a debris fire.
- Don’t burn campfires, debris, or rubbish unless you stay by the fire and have adequate means to extinguish it immediately. "If you light it, be ready to fight it."