Hot summer nights, warm sunny days, drives to the beach, hiking through the foothills… Summer is definitely in full swing right now! While I’m sure we could do without the triple digit temps we’ve seen this week, we can all agree that Nevada County summers are pretty mild compared to the valley below us. However, our intermittent rain and bright sunshine can lead to a very different, very hostile type of season: fire season.
Fire season in Nevada County varies but can run all summer through fall. Around May / June, local precipitation levels drop and the sun comes out to play. At that point fires become a real hazard to our forested area. 32,737 fires have burned in California year to date. That’s 3,124,757 acres and counting.
I feel so blessed to live in a beautiful place like Nevada County with all of our magnificent scenery. However, I understand that our scenic way of life in the Sierra Foothills comes with risks, and a major one is the risk of wildfire. That’s why I’ve compiled useful information from local resources on how to be fire-ready this fire season. Let me know if you have anything to add!
Being Fire Ready
- Create a written evacuation plan. This plan should include a designated meeting place outside the fire or hazard area. Every family member should have a copy. Make note of the different escape routes from both your home and community. Write down your plan for livestock and pets. And designate a point of contact from outside the area who can act as a source of communication between family members in case you’re separated.
- Be prepared at all times, but especially during fire season. Have an easily accessible fire extinguisher and make sure everyone knows how to use it. Ensure your whole family knows where the shut-off valves / controls are for gas, electric and water. Prepare emergency supply kits for each family member and remember to add an emergency contact list.
- Speaking of emergency supply kits, it can be confusing deciding what to include, how much to pack, etc. I like the idea of using backpacks – they’re easy for both kids and adults to carry and are big enough to locate quickly. Try including the following in your emergency kit (and let the kids help. This is a great time to talk about how important fire safety really is):Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person
Special prescriptions or medications
A change of clothing
Extra set of car keys, credit cards, and checks
First Aid Kit
Battery powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries
Sanitation supplies (baby wipes are perfect)
Copies birth certificates, drivers license, etc.
Pet food and water (if applicable)
It’s easy to get disoriented and panicked during an emergency. You’re taking the guess work out of what to do by being prepared in advance.
For more information, check out these local fire safety resources: