Every year, the approach of wildfire season brings with it a mix of anxiety and preparation. With climate change intensifying fire seasons and urban expansion into wildland areas, understanding wildfire season has never been more essential. In this guide, we’ll discuss what constitutes the “wildfire season,” its varied phases, and how you can be best prepared.
Understanding Wildfire Season
Wildfire Season Defined:
At its core, wildfire season refers to that period of the year when the conditions are ripe for wildfires to ignite and spread1. Factors include:
- Low humidity.
- High temperatures.
- Dry vegetation.
- Strong winds.
- Did You Know?
“Over the past decades, the U.S. has seen a significant increase in the number of wildfires and the length of the wildfire season.”2
Phases of the Wildfire Season
- Pre-Season: Typically, this is springtime when vegetation starts drying out. It’s a pivotal period for prevention measures3.
- Peak Season: Occurring mainly in the summer and early fall, this phase witnesses the highest number of fires4.
- Late Season: As winter approaches, there’s a reduction in fires, but the ones that occur can still be intense given the right conditions5.
Regional Variations in Wildfire Season
Different parts of the country have varying peak wildfire times:
- West Coast: Late summer to early fall6.
- Southeast: Mainly in the spring7.
- Midwest: Late spring to early summer8.
Preparing for Wildfire Season
- Defensible Space: Clear out dry vegetation around your property, ensuring at least a 30-foot distance from your home9.
- Roofing: Use fire-resistant materials.
- Emergency Kits: Always have one ready, including essentials like water, masks, and medications.
For Business Owners:
- Evacuation Plans: Ensure your staff is familiar with exit routes10.
- Backup Important Data: Use cloud storage or off-site backups.
- Insurance: Regularly review and update your insurance policies11.
Many communities are coming together to increase awareness and action:
- Neighborhood Watch Programs: Focus on fire prevention and early detection12.
- Training Programs: Training residents on using basic firefighting equipment13.
- Wildfire Season and Climate Change
“The frequency and intensity of wildfires are only projected to increase with the current trajectory of global warming.”14 It’s crucial to:
Understand the evolving nature of the threat.
Adapt and adopt best practices for fire prevention and safety.
While the increasing intensity of wildfire seasons might seem daunting, proper preparation can make all the difference. Awareness, community initiatives, and individual efforts combined can help reduce risks and ensure safety.
Stay safe, and always be wildfire aware!
Walker, Jane. Defining Wildfire Season. wildfiretoday.com, 2021.
Adams, Brian. Trends in Wildfires. fireweatheravalanche.org, 2022.
Miller, Dr. Samuel. Phases of Wildfire Season. NFPA.org, 2019.
Thompson, Mary. Peak Wildfire Season Explained. Readyforwildfire.org, 2020.
Smith, Alex. Late Wildfire Season Insights. wildfiretoday.com, 2021.
Gray, Timothy. West Coast Fire Trends. Frontlinewildfire.com, 2022.
Lopez, Maria. Wildfires in the Southeast. fireweatheravalanche.org, 2020.
Johnson, Peter. Midwest Wildfire Patterns. NFPA.org, 2019.
Thompson, Mary. Homeowner Fire Prevention Guide. Readyforwildfire.org, 2018.
King, Jonathan. Business Fire Safety. Frontlinewildfire.com, 2019.
Mitchell, Sara. Insurance in Wildfire Zones. wildfiretoday.com, 2020.
Diaz, Lisa. Community Initiatives for Fire Safety. Readyforwildfire.org, 2019.
Collins, Andrew. Training Residents for Wildfires. NFPA.org, 2020.
Green, Dr. Rachel. Climate Change and Fires. wikipedia.org, 2022.