Wildfires are raging out of control over much of the West. Fires in Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho and Montana have forced thousands to flee. Hundreds of homes and businesses have been destroyed. Those fires have also closed highways.
The insurance impact is huge.
This is also a developing story. It could actually grow worse before it gets better. The governors of many of the states in the West have declared parts of their states disaster areas.
Over 100 fires are burning as this story is being written. Extreme heat, severe drought and gusty winds, and personnel stretched to the limit have made the devastation this summer’s wildfire season unimaginable.
The U.S. Forest Service said it is spending $100 million a week fighting fires. Sometime next week it will run out of money and the wildfire season isn’t close to completed. Meanwhile, the U.S. military is being deployed to assist with the Herculean effort to contain them.
These links were a few hours old when this story was written. Much has — no doubt — changed since but we are providing them anyway:
Source links: KREM-TV, NBC News, Idaho Statesman
Authorities continue to urge people in dangerous areas to be prepared. You may be in a dangerous area or have clients that are in one. If so, share this information with them.
Preparation stretches from making sure the land around your home is as fireproof as possible and that fire fuel has been removed to having bags packed and valuables secured in case you have to leave at the last second.
After removing flammable debris from your roof and gutters and from around your home — this is dead branches, dried leaves and garbage — then you need to be prepared to fight a fire. Firefighting materials need to be on your property and easy to reach. These include buckets, chainsaws, rakes and shovels. A water source would be handy as well.
Here are some links for tips:
• FireFree! Ten Steps
• Protecting Your Home from Wildfire
• Red Cross Wildfire Preparedness Information
If a fire hits your area there are things you need to do. Stay tuned to local radio and television broadcasts. Be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice. Have disaster supplies ready. Know where your pets are. Remove any possible obstructions to a quick getaway.
Here’s a link on what to do if fire breaks out in your area.
• What to do during a wildfire