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Wildfire Safety in Los Angeles

Wildfire Prevention and Safety Tips

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Like Smokey the Bear always says, "You too can prevent forest fires." It's very rare that Los Angeles isn't under some form of fire watch. During the fall and winter Santa Ana winds, we're usually on Red Flag Alert, and wildfires are common. As unlikely as it seems, a wildfire can be caused by a cigarette thrown out the car window that lands in the dry brush on the side of the road, or a spark from a dragging muffler.

Here are some activities you might do on a visit to LA that would put you in a high fire danger zone. These are not the only high risk areas. When conditions are especially dry, everywhere is a danger zone.

Prevention

Here are some things you can do to help prevent wildfires if you are in these areas.
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated and that you have adequate suspension so that the undercarriage or other metal parts of your car do not drag on the ground if you go over a bump or dip in the road.
  • If you smoke, don't light up while hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding or any other activity near dry brush.
  • If smoking in your car, don't flick ash or cigarette butts out the window.
  • Don't use power tools that may spark near dry brush in high fire season.
  • Don't make campfires anywhere outside designated fire pits in campgrounds.
  • Follow posted restrictions which may prohibit all campfires, even in fire pits during Red Flag conditions or restrict fires to artificial logs at other times.

Safety

Here are some things you can do to stay safe in case of wildfire.
  • If you spot a wildfire, call 911 to report the location and leave the area immediately.
  • If you are asked by the fire department to evacuate, do so immediately and without argument.
  • If you are not in the fire area, do not go to the fire area to watch the fire. Additional traffic on the roads interferes with Fire Department access to fight the fire. Stay in your hotel and watch it on TV.

Mudslides

After wildfires in the local mountains, there is an increased risk of mudslides. Avoid being anywhere below or on burnt hillsides if it is raining or has rained recently.

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