How to Prepare for California Fire Season

Engine resources help cool hot areas of the fire near Highway 70 to help prevent additional spot fires by Chips Fire (CC BY 2.0)

Now that fall is here, so is California fire season. No one wants to be unprepared during the California fire season. Now is a great time to prepare your home. Here are a few tips that might help you this season and protect you from potential California fire disasters in the future.


LANDSCAPE (Photo by Linda Tanner)
California Fire Preparedness: Landscaping (Photo by Linda Tanner)

It may seem like an obvious tip, but it is absolutely necessary to keep your yard well-landscaped. This reduces potential damage in the event of a California fire. Make sure to rake any leaves around your home. Mow your grass regularly. Prune dead tree limbs, especially those that extend within 15 feet of a stovepipe or chimney.

Clearing branches near power lines also helps prevent a California fire from extensively damaging your home. Although pruning branches near power lines is not something to do yourself. Instead, contact your local power company. A service crew will be happy to assist you.

In addition to pruning, removing vines from walls reduces the potential exposure to flames from a California fire and protects your property during California fire season. It’s also vital to clear any brush around your home. You can even get goats to do that for you.

Create a California Fire Action Plan

Fire Exit (Photo by Oscar Kavanagh)
California Fire Exit (Photo by Oscar Kavanagh)

Every family should prepare an evacuation plan for a California fire. Take time to sit your family down and come up with an emergency meeting location that is outside of your home. In the case of a California fire, it is imperative that each family member knows how to safely exit your home. Make sure to set up a meeting location. Also, don’t forget about your pets in your California fire evacuation plan. It is also a good idea to have a single emergency contact in case of separation during a California fire. This person should act as a source of communication for the entire family. This eliminates confusion and reduces overloaded lines of communication. For more information about California fire preparation and creating an action plan checklist, visit the Cal Fire website.

Prepare an Emergency Supply Kit

Fire Fighter (Photo by Bureau of Land Management)
California Fire Fighter (Photo by Bureau of Land Management)

In the event that a California fire cannot be prevented, it is important to have emergency supplies on hand for you and your family. This requires you to prepare an emergency kit for a California fire ahead of time. Store emergency supplies in a backpack or anything else that allows you to quickly grab and go. Gather other items you’ll need like non-perishable food and water, prescriptions or special medications, copies of essential documents, batteries, a flashlight, a first aid kit, an extra set of car keys, etc.

Do Your Research

LAFD (Photo by Lord Jim)
California Fire Personnel: LAFD (Photo by Lord Jim)

There are countless resources about California fire preparation at your fingertips. The internet has helpful tips. You learn about the likelihood of a California fire in your area and the best ways to prepare for one. A California fire is sometimes inevitable; the most important concept to remember is that early preparation and education are key.