3 Things You Can Do in the Event of a Wildfire

It is peak wildfire season in Central Oregon, and it is important that everyone is equipped with a plan of what to do if they ever happen to get stuck in the middle of one.  Since wildfires are often caused by people, they are impossible to predict when they are going to occur. It is important that you know if you live or are visiting a fire-prone area so that you can have a plan of what to do if ever faced with a wildfire. There are a few different actions that you can take that will greatly help your chance of making it out. 

1.) Do not try to outrun the fire.

Natural instincts would tell you to run away from the blaze as fast as you can, however this is one of the worst things that you can do. Fires double in size every minute, which makes them travel at an extremely fast pace. This makes it impossible to outrun a fire. Your best bet is to look for a body of water such as a pond, lake or river to crouch in.

2.) If you cannot find a body of water, find a clear, depressed area.

Unfortunately, there will not always be bodies of water nearby. If this is the case, your next best option is to find a clear, depressed area. Once you are as far away from any vegetation as possible, lie as low to the ground as you can and cover your body with wet clothing, blankets or soil. You will want to stay put until the fire completely passes.

3.) Breathe in the air closest to the ground.

The smoke given off by the fire can be very dangerous to breathe in. Due to this, you will want to get as close to the ground as possible to avoid as much smoke as you can (smoke rises). If possible, put a wet cloth over your mouth to breathe into. 

National Geographic