If a wildfire is in your area,
your safety is the most important thing.
Wildfires can happen suddenly and spread quickly.
Now's the time to put your wildfire preparation into action.
Download The Wildfire Response Checklist
During a Wildfire
Responding correctly in the event of an active wildfire is key. Here are some response actions to take to help protect yourself and your loved ones.
Do your best to know what's going on around you.
- Pay attention to text or email emergency alerts
- To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word "alerts"
- Tune in to local news outlets (TV, radio), or reputable social media sources for weather updates, emergency instructions, or evacuation orders
- NWS issues a fire weather watch when potentially dangerous fire weather conditions are possible over the next 12 to 72 hours
If you haven't received evacuation orders yet, but see signs of a wildfire, call
9-1-1. Don't assume that someone else already has.
Inform your out-of-town contact via phone or social media of your situation.
- Remind household members of your safe place to meet, should you be separated
Once you get the order to evacuate, leave right away. You may only have a small window of time to get out safely.
- Exit using your community’s evacuation plan
- If roads are blocked, use your alternate escape route
- Keep headlights on if there is a lot of smoke present
- Watch for other vehicles and fleeing wildlife or livestock
- Notify your out-of-town contact where you’re going, and when you’ve arrived
If you have not received the order to leave your property, these actions can be taken only if it is safe to do so.
NOTE: Please consider the air quality. If there is a lot of smoke in the area, it’s best to stay inside.
Remove combustible materials within 5 feet of any structure.
- Patio furniture
- Pine needles
- Dead leaves
Clear away any flammable materials like pine needles and dead leaves.
Watering anywhere within 30 feet of structures can help discourage a wildfire.
After a Wildfire
Even when a wildfire has passed, or it seems that you are no longer in danger, there are steps you should take to ensure your safety.
- If you evacuated, return home only when authorities say it is safe for you to do so
- Stay alert
- Frequently look throughout the house for smoke, sparks, or hidden embers
- Be sure to check the roof if you smell smoke
- Use caution around burned areas
- Hazards like hot spots, which can flare up without warning, may still exist
Be sure to take care of yourself as you take care of your things.
- Wear a dust mask (NIOSH certified-respirator) and wet debris down to minimize breathing dust particles
- Replace the air filter in your car
- Throw out any food that has been exposed to heat, smoke, or soot
- Do NOT use water that may be contaminated to:
- Wash hands
- Prepare food
- Make ice or baby formula
- Wash dishes
- Brush teeth
- Take photos of any damage for insurance purposes
The information we share on our site is intended to serve as a general overview. Please refer to your policy or contact your local independent agent for specific coverage details.