Wildfire Prevention and Readiness
Homes and businesses near natural areas are beautiful places to live, and no one understands that better than a Park City resident. Ours is an environment ripe with splendor, thick with sage and pine, and bathed in sunshine more than 300 days per year.
With all of this natural wonder, sunshine, and our dry climate, comes the very real, yearly risk of wildfire. Preventing wildfires includes maintaining a fire-wise landscape and being smart about how we manage our open fires and Barbecues.
While wildfire prevention is the first and most important step to fire safety, wildfires do occur. Sometimes these fires are man made and sometimes they are natural occurrences, such as from lightening strikes.
However, preserving life will always be more important than preserving items and property. If and when a wildfire occurs near your home, the initial step to maintaining safety is being aware. The PCFD site and social media channels are always up to date with the latest news and alerts regarding emergency situations.
- If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Plan your evacuation route ahead of time and prepare an evacuation checklist and emergency supplies (including a 72-hour kit).
- Wear protective clothing and footwear to protect yourself from flying sparks and ashes.
- Plan a meeting place for your family and always have an emergency contact out of state (out of state contacts ensures that jammed local phone signals won’t prohibit you from contacting a loved one)
Preparing Your Home
If you have time, and only if it is clear that you have time, it’s important to prepare your home for the possibility of fire damage.
- Remove combustibles, including firewood, yard waste, barbecue grills, and fuel cans, from your yard.
- Close all windows, vents, and doors to prevent a draft.
- Shut off natural gas, propane, or fuel oil supplies.
- Fill any large vessels—pools, hot tubs, garbage cans, or tubs—with water to slow or discourage fire.
If You Are Caught In a Wildfire
- Don’t try to outrun the blaze. Instead, look for a body of water such as a pond or river to crouch in.
- If there is no water nearby, find a depressed, cleared area with little vegetation, lie low to the ground, and cover your body with wet clothing, a blanket, or soil. Stay low and covered until the fire passes.
- Protect your lungs by breathing air closest to the ground, through a moist cloth, if possible, to avoid inhaling smoke.
If a wildfire is threatening your home or business, the most essential thing is to gather family and pets and follow evacuation instructions. Having a 72-hour emergency kit in an easy to access place can be vital to your safety and security.