As of this writing on Wednesday afternoon, over 800 homes have been destroyed and over 20,000 people evacuated as destructive wildfires have torn across the northern forests of drought-parched California.
The worst of the wildfires, dubbed the Valley Fire, ignited last Saturday before rolling through the area north of the famous Napa wine country. Over 585 homes and hundreds of other buildings were destroyed.
Firefighters have been making some headway in recent days, however, as low humidity and high heat have begun giving way to a cooler, wetter trend combined with lower winds. In some places fire crews have even been aided by drizzle, as in the county seat of Lakeport.
The so-called Butte Fire, meanwhile, has destroyed over 400 homes and buildings in the western Sierras, with 10,000 evacuees only now beginning to return to their homes after a week of uncertainty.
Overall, this has been this period of wildfire has been the most costly and destructive of any in 2015, a year that had already been breaking records. Over 650,000 acres have been blackened by more than 7,000 fires. In many areas, downed power lines and ravaged infrastructure make it unsafe for even those people whose houses are intact to return home.
With September and October traditionally the months when wildfires are most severe, many in the Golden State are preparing for things to get a lot worse before they get any better.
One of the takeaways from this horrible period of natural destruction is the importance of having a wildfire preparedness plan in place. Make sure you and your family knows what they should do and where they should go in the event of an approaching fire. Evacuation drills should be practiced at least every other month, more in high-risk periods like now.
In addition, you should have at least one emergency preparedness kit on-hand and easily available if evacuation becomes necessary. This should include at least:
- First aid supplies
- A hand crank radio and flashlight
- Emergency food and water
- Emergency numbers for your area
- Any medicines required by you or your family
- Sanitation supplies
Prepare for the worst with a visit to our store at 1stAidSupplies.com, offering the best in emergency preparedness gear and first aid tools.