Know When to Go – Recognize the Signs of a Wildfire

Recognizing the Signs of a Wildfire "it's an emergency" GIF
Be honest. You will be glued to your phone either way.

What good is knowing HOW to go if you don’t know WHEN to go? If fire has already reached your backyard, it might be too late, no matter how much planning you did. Learn how to recognize the signs of a wildfire so your planning doesn’t go to waste.

First of all, find out when wildfire season is in your state. Most occur in June, July, and August, but if you live in a drier state, you may need to be vigilant for more of the year.

Keep up with local news and sign up for emergency alerts. You can download the FEMA app for alerts straight to your smartphone or sign up for wireless emergency alerts from the National Weather Service. Most homes in areas threatened by wildfires (determined by topography and weather, including wind direction) will receive a series of alerts, similar to the tiered tornado warning system. Since fire is unpredictable and evacuation traffic is a pill, some people may prefer to evacuate preemptively, while some may wait until there is an evacuation order. You may receive a knock on your door confirming the evacuation order in person as fire fighters do all they can to clear the area.

Whether you get the evacuation order by radio, TV, phone, or word of mouth, put your wildfire emergency plan into gear IMMEDIATELY!

wildfire evacuation traffic on freeway
Don’t forget to breathe while you’re stuck in that evacuation traffic.

But what about the aftermath?

About the Authors

It takes a village! We are researching, writing and fact checking as a family. Collaboration is the name of the game, whether we’re running from a zombie horde or finding the best way to turn a complex concept into a deliciously digestible set of bullet points.

Katherine Esperanza is a Los Angeles based writer. When she's not conjuring new queer slice-of-life short stories, she's busy watching the newest films, out at queer shows, supporting queer artists, or just checking out the queer community as a whole.

A former international non-profiteer, small business owner, and co-op'er, Katherine is delighted to help introduce more leftist politics into the disaster preparedness/prepper sphere, which is currently far too right-wing.