Evacuation Plan

Wildfire

If you see a wildfire, call 9-1-1. Don't assume that someone else has already called. Describe the location of the fire, speak slowly and clearly, and answer any questions asked by the dispatcher.

Before The Fire Approaches Your Home

Evacuate.

Check with local radio and television stations for evacuation instructions and information. Once the evacuation order is given, please follow all directives from fire and law enforcement personnel. Evacuate your pets and all family members who are not essential to preparing the home. Anyone with medical or physical limitations and the young and the elderly should be evacuated immediately.

Wear Protective Clothing.

You should wear boots (leather preferred), long pants, long-sleeved shirt and some type of hat.

Remove Combustibles.

Clear items that will burn from around the house, including woodpiles, lawn furniture, barbecue grills, tarp coverings, etc. Move them as far away as possible.

Close/Protect Openings.

  • Close outside attic, eaves and basement vents, windows, doors, pet doors, etc.
  • Remove flammable drapes and curtains.
  • Close all shutters, metal blinds or heavy non-combustible window coverings to reduce radiant heat.

Close Inside Doors/Open Damper.

  • Close all doors inside the house to prevent draft.
  • Open the damper on your fireplace, but close the fireplace screen.

Shut Off Gas.

Shutoff any natural gas, propane, or fuel oil supplies at the source.

Water.

  • Connect garden hoses.
  • Fill any pools, hot tubs, garbage cans, tubs or other large containers with water.
  • Please do not leave any water hoses or sprinklers on when you leave your residence; this reduces the available water to fight the fire.

Pumps.

If you have gas-powered pumps for water make sure they are fueled and ready.

Ladder.

Place a ladder against the house in clear view.

Car.

Back your car into the driveway and roll up the windows.

Garage Doors.

  • Disconnect any automatic garage door openers so that doors can still be opened by hand if the power goes out.
  • Close all garage doors.

Valuables.

  • Place valuable papers, mementoes and anything “you can't live without” inside the car in the garage, ready for quick departure.
  • Any pets still with you should also be put in the car.

Preparing To Leave

Lights.

Turn on outside lights and leave a light on in every room to make the house more visible in heavy smoke.

Don't Lock Up.

Leave doors and windows closed but unlocked. It may be necessary for firefighters to gain quick entry into your home to fight fire. The entire area will be isolated and patrolled by sheriff's deputies or police.

Survival In A Vehicle

This is dangerous and should only be done in an emergency, but you can survive the firestorm if you stay in your car. It is much less dangerous than trying to run from a fire on foot.

Driving

  • Roll up windows and close air vents.
  • Drive slowly with headlights on.
  • Watch for other vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Do not drive through heavy smoke.

Parking

Engine may stall and not restart. Air currents may rock the car. Some smoke and sparks may enter the vehicle. Temperature inside will increase. Metal gas tanks and containers rarely explode.

  • If you have to stop, park away from the heaviest trees and brush.
  • Turn headlights on and ignition off.
  • Roll up windows and close air vents.
  • Get on the floor and cover up with a blanket or coat.
  • Stay in the vehicle until the main fire passes. Stay in the car. Do not run!

If You Are Trapped At Home

  • Stay calm. As the fire front approaches, go inside the house. You can survive inside. The fire will pass before your house burns down.

After The Fire Passes

  • Check the roof immediately. Put out any roof fires, sparks or embers.
  • Check the attic for hidden burning sparks.
  • If you have a fire, get your neighbors to help fight it.
  • The water you put into your pool or hot tub and other containers will come in handy now. If the power is out, try connecting a hose to the outlet on your water heater.
  • For several hours after the fire, maintain a “fire watch.” Re-check for smoke and sparks throughout the house.

If You Cannot Find Shelter

  • If a road is nearby, lie face down along the road cut or in the ditch on the uphill side. Cover yourself with anything that will shield you from the fire's heat.
  • Avoid canyons, natural “chimneys” and saddles.
  • The best temporary shelter is in a sparse fuel area, clear away fuel from the area while the fire is approaching and lie face down in the depression and cover yourself. Stay down till the fire has passed.