Associations Brace for Challenging Fire Season
The western United States could suffer a fierce fire season if the weather pattern stays consistent. Two associations are helping states prepare.
Experts are forecasting a “dangerous,” “difficult,” and “challenging” fire season in the western United States because of continued drought conditions and present weather patterns, according to USA Today.
Despite the slow start to the season, the combination of average temperatures and below-average precipitation in the West signals future dangerous fire conditions, the newspaper reported. California has already experienced 1,200 fires that have burned 40,000 acres, well above the average for this date.
Homeowners most at risk won’t be alone in dealing with the flames. Two groups dedicated to fire suppression and protection are working to help states prepare.
The National Wildfire Suppression Association (NWSA), which represents more than 250 private fire-services contractors who operate on an as-needed basis, is set to provide resources that include 20-person firefighting crews, timber faller modules, engines, tenders, bulldozers, and fire and emergency incident camp services.
The group says it can provide up to 10,000 trained firefighters during wildfire season across the United States. “We truly provide a ‘best value’ resource to the agencies and taxpayers across the United States during the height of fire season,” NWSA President Rick Dice said in a statement.
Molly Mowery of the National Fire Protection Association told USA Today that wildfires destroy about 1,200 homes each year in the United States and that preventative measures can help people keep their homes safer from potential blazes.
Mowery said homeowners should clean out debris and leaves from their gutters, keep the areas on and under decks and porches free from debris, and maintain “a 3-to-5-foot space around your house and all attachments that [is] ‘fuel free’—no flammable mulch, woodpiles, or plants that can allow fire to touch the house.”