Numerous factors can cause a wildfire. Human and non-human interference may result in it. But recently, it has been evident that climate change has aggravated the number of wildfires we have seen throughout the country.
People who love to go to the woods, forests, and grasslands are already prone to dangerous wildfires. They can occur without you knowing. Therefore, it is essential for these individuals to be prepared at all times. Planning is no longer optional; it is necessary.
Read on to learn more about how you can avoid a wildfire and navigate your way through it.
Technically speaking, a wildfire is a sudden, usually-uncontrolled blaze that razes various forms of vegetation. Usually, it happens in rural areas. It can take place in savannas, grasslands, forests, and other areas that can support fire.
Wildfire happens naturally. For instance, lighting strikes can generate fire on dry vegetation. But over the years, man-made wildfires have also taken place. They can last for very long periods if there are no interventions. Weather conditions may also impact the scale of the wildfire. High temperatures and wind can be blamed for the rapid spread of a wildfire.
Interestingly, the topography of an area dictates if it is prone to massive wildfires. Based on research, fire can burn faster on uphills than on downhills.
Wildfires are dangerous, especially if they erupt near cities or human residences. The 2018 wildfire in Butte County has ravaged Paradise town. Its aftermath also left over 80 people dead.
However, keep in mind that wildfires can be life-savers for some species of plant. Specific plants, such as the chamise and manzanita, require a certain degree of heat before their seeds can germinate.
Of course, wildfires can help in the check-and-balance of an ecosystem. For instance, these fires are essential in killing diseases and wildfires that harm the environment. For example, wildfires naturally clear out under bushes and scrubs so that new grasses would be able to grow. The fire residues can even nourish the soil.
For humans, wildfires are dangerous. Hence, it is essential that it should be avoided at all costs.
Here are some of the strategies that you can implement to navigate your way from the dangerous fires:
As the adage goes, prevention is better than cure. This means that if you have the opportunity to cancel the trip, you should cancel it. You should consider this decision during wildfire seasons. You can't just simply risk yourself for any hiking or outdoor trip. The danger will never be worth it.
Of course, canceling a trip is quite annoying, especially if you have prepared for it for quite some time already. Once you have prepared your luggage and permits, backing off seems to be less than ideal.
However, there's always a justification for changing your mind. National parks can always close and prohibit entry to people, especially if there's a likelihood of wildfires. Once this happens, drop the trip and find an alternative somewhere else. Enduring the embers and smokes will never be fun; it is not thrilling at all.
Inhaling smoke from wildfires can also cause respiratory problems. And the dangers of being inflicted by fire-related injuries will never make any pre-planned trip worth it. Hence, if there's a warning about wildfires, take heed. Your safety should be a priority.
Predicting wildfires is not easy. As mentioned earlier, it occurs due to human and non-human factors. Even if things are seemingly clear, there's no telling if a blaze will never happen.
Fortunately, planning ahead can mitigate the risks that wildfires can do to you.
These are the essential resources that enhance the preparedness for your trip:
If you want to prepare yourself for wildfires, there is essential equipment that you need to bring. The following are worth considering:
Visible fumes in the air suggest that there's a possible wildfire within your trailhead. So the dilemma here is whether to continue the trip or not. Between these two options, going back is the safest option. After all, venturing through the fire is not ideal.
But even in the absence of fire, smoke remains to be a problem. Exposure to it can cause health problems. Fortunately, you can assess the level of severity of the smoke.
These are the things that you need to do when you encounter a wildfire.
Many wildfires are due to human activities. If you decide to go hiking, make sure that you take the necessary steps to prevent one from happening. Essentially, following the Leave-No-Trace principles can prevent you from becoming a culprit
Make sure that you are aware of fire restrictions in your destination. Ask the local managers of the park if there are particular rules when it comes to lighting campfires.
If you are allowed to make a fire, don't do it carelessly. You need to create a fire ring first if there's none. At the same time, you should make the fire in an area where there is no vegetation.
Of course, it is essential that you don't leave the campfire unsupervised. After all, the wind can carry the embers, causing an eventual wildfire. If you are done using the fire, better put it off using water. Douse the fire repeatedly, ensuring that no leftover embers are present.
Wildfires are dangerous. It can damage lives, properties, and ecosystems. Be a responsible hiker and prevent one from happening.