Over the past 20 years, Orange County has seen an increase in major wildfire events, causing significant damage to local communities and wildlands. Wildfires are among the most destructive events that can occur in urban wildlands. Irvine Ranch Conservancy, along with OC Parks, City of Irvine, City of Newport Beach and Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) are doing their part to protect these precious natural resources.
Preventing wildfire ignitions during Santa Ana Wind and Red Flag Warning events is the single most important thing that can be done to keep our communities and local wildlands safe. Educate yourself and learn what you can do today to ensure your safety during the next wildfire event with these wildfire safety tips:
- Remain vigilant during Red Flag Warnings. These warnings are issued to signal the need for heightened awareness and to take precaution while going about your daily routine. If you see a potential wildfire threat, be sure to report the situation by calling 911 immediately.
- Eliminate wildfire hazards near your home. Even the smallest efforts can help protect your home during a wildfire event. OCFA's home assessment survey can help you determine if your home is wildfire ready.
- Practice vegetation management. Remove dead and dying plants within 100 feet of structures, reduce vegetation to minimize fires from spreading, and replace fire-prone plants with fire-resistant plants. Even if a wildfire is not close by, embers from a nearby wildfire can travel for miles and ignite dry brush.
- Know when to evacuate. Early evacuation is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones. Be sure to have all necessities ready, including the six P’s: people and pets, important papers, phone numbers and documents, prescriptions and any medical equipment, pictures and family keepsakes, personal electronic devices, and payment options like credit cards and cash.
- Have a plan and go bag ready. It’s recommended to have a household fire plan and go bag packed with supplies that can last for at least 72 hours, including food, water and pet supplies. Having extra go bags in your car and at work is also recommended in case you are unable to get home during a wildfire event.
Although we cannot prevent every wildfire, we can be more cautious and aware of our surroundings and prepared for potential wildfire events. IRC and its partners do their part to continuously monitor conditions, reduce risk, and alert others when they see the potential for fire ignition. For more information about how to prepare for a wildfire event, visit OCFA.org/RSG. Orange County residents are also encouraged to sign up for emergency notifications on AlertOC.org.
On Saturday, May 8 from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Irvine Ranch Conservancy will conduct the annual Fire Watch Symposium virtually. Due to state and local guidelines, IRC staff and partners have transitioned the symposium to a virtual format that will allow participants to tune in on YouTube and Facebook. To watch this year’s virtual Fire Watch Symposium, subscribe to the IRNaturalLandmarks YouTube channel and follow the IRLandmarks Facebook page. A recording of the symposium will be available on YouTube and Facebook after the event date.
For more information about Irvine Ranch Conservancy and wildfire prevention efforts on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, visit LetsGoOutside.org.