Wildfire Season is Here

The recent blazes in Carlsbad, San Marcos, Harmony Grove, Bonsall, Escondido, Oceanside and Lakeside charred nearly 27,000 acres and estimates for property damage and firefighting support have reached $60 million. The Burn Institute would like to thank our fire service for such heroic efforts to save hundreds of homes in the affected communities. We are so proud to work with such a wonderful group of dedicated individuals.

While displaced families return to their embattled neighborhoods and struggle to cope with their losses – signs of the rebuilding effort are already underway. Bulldozers and trucks move debris and ash from singed foundations and insurance companies are working on claims for homeowners. The Burn Institute has offered many of the property owners who experience loss or damage a free copy of the Red Guide to Recovery to assist them in their rebuilding process. Many of the homes left unharmed were spared in part due to the diligence of their owners who cleared brush and created defensible space. A very important component of the Burn Institute’s mission is educating residents on how to prepare for the inevitability of another wildfire.

Important Prevention Tips:

  • The first is defensible space. Clearing brush up to 100 feet from your home (depending on where you live in the county) gives firefighters the opportunity to do what they do best, fight fire. Reports from past wildfires proved that homeowners who created a buffer around their homes were spared from devastation.
  • The next key component to this prevention strategy is non-combustible roofing. Having a shake-shingle roof is akin to putting kindling wood on your home. Firefighters report that shake shingle homes are next to impossible to save during wildfire conditions. And remember, burning embers produced by wildfires, which are driven through the air by high winds, can travel up to five miles. You don’t need to be near a fire line to lose your home … and if one of those thousands upon thousands of fire brands finds its way onto your shake shingle roof, more likely than not, your home will not survive. A noncombustible roof will usually withstand the heat from a traveling fire brand and prevent a house from igniting.
  • The third important part of this lifesaving formula is evacuation. Have an evacuation plan, create a checklist of your most precious belongings, important papers and medications, and when the time comes to evacuate, load up your stuff and get out immediately! Property can be replaced, but human life cannot.

If you would like to help the Burn Institute continue to prepare our community for a wildfire as well as support the victims of a fire, you can make a donation here or call the Burn Institute at 858-541-2277.

You can download a free copy of our Living with Wildfire Guide in English or Spanish Click Here.

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