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Wildfire tips in time for fire season

FlamesBy their nature, wildfires are impossible to predict. Even their name conjures up the wild, the uncontrollable—and their effects are devastating and often deadly.

A recent (and still burning at this time) wildfire in Alberta, Canada has proven this all too well. More than 1.25M acres have been razed, with that total climbing every day. In Fort McMurray, the urban center most directly affected, 2,400 buildings and other structures were destroyed. Remarkably—thankfully—no deaths or injuries were reported from the fire.

Closer to home, a recently released Fire Potential Outlook from the National Interagency Fire Center predicts the following fire activity this summer:

  • Alaska – Above normal potential due to hotter and drier weather than usual.
  • Hawaii – Above normal significant fire potential because of drought conditions and weaker precipitation.
  • Northwest – Normal potential for seasonal fire activity, with an average risk of large fires later in the summer.
  • California – Normal or near-normal precipitation in the north will lead to normal fire potential through August in the North. Southern California, with some areas seeing less than 75 percent of normal precipitation, will see increased risk for significant fires.
  • Northern Rockies – Normal potential and seasonal weather.
  • Great Basin – Normal to above normal, varying with precipitation amounts and the size of the grass crop.
  • Southwest – Elevated potential until mid-summer, when an on-time monsoonal onset is expected to bring relief.
  • Rocky Mountains – Below normal trending to normal potential for significant fires as drought indices improve.
  • East – Below normal to normal potential.
  • South – Above normal potential transitioning to normal potential as expected seasonal rains and tropical humidity moisten the area.

It’s important to remember however that, as the NIFC cautions, “normal fire activity still represents a number of significant fires occurring and acres burned.”

In other words, it’s smart to have a plan in place for the disruptions a wildfire can impose on your business. And remember—you can mitigate damage and help keep people safe by communicating clearly when one threatens.

That’s where mass notification can help, but your system is only as good as your ability to use it. if you’re not making the most of the technology you have, you may find yourself without critical resources during a wildfire or other crisis.

You may not be able to control what happens when the flames are encroaching, but now you can start to prepare for what you do if worse comes to worst. Download your tip sheet today.