If you are enjoyng the end of summer by camping, fishing, hiking, or any other form of adventure, then you should be somewhat aware of the danger of fire right now. Especially in the west, fire is a real and present danger anywhere there is wilderness because the dry weather leads to a dry environment and it is prone to combustion. The truth is that you can get caught in a wildfire at any time nearly anywhere, but some areas are more volatile than others.
Here are four things you need to know:
- You should avoid a wildfire. If you want to simply stay out of the wildfires, keep an eye on the environment that you are in. Green lush underbrush is highly unlikely to result in fire, as any survivalist who has tried to start a fire with green wood can tell you. If the foliage ranges in color from yellow to brown, then you are in more danger of fire depending on the color. I have seen fires get started with the sun shining through a condom full of water when it is dry enough.
- Watch your heat sources. This means campfires, catalytic converters, condoms full of water in the sunlight etc... Don't use firecrackers or gun errantly. Understand that once you get a fire going, you will play hell to get it stopped. You are so much better off just not getting into the problem to begin with.
- Have a plan to get away from a fire. Running from it isn't an option because it can travel faster than you can. It's best to look for non-flammable terrain, depressions, already burnt areas, and large bodies of water to get yourself into. Remember to protect your airways, and to remove any type of clothing that will ignite and melt, thereby sticking to you while burning.
- Don't depend on your gas mask for protection. As we've discussed before, a gas mask will not protect you from smoke inhalation because the smoke depletes the oxygen from the environment and the gas mask is a filtration system. You will be better off trying to control the acridity of the smoke with a cloth covering over your nose and mouth.