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Only You Can Prevent Wildfires

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Orange County Fire Watch Program seeks to prevent wildfires by being vigilant, careful and ready

​​​We may not be able to predict or prevent earthquakes in Southern California, but low humidity levels and high winds are a clear sign of a potential natural disaster that we are able to predict: wildfires. High temperatures and a large volume of dry vegetation have brought on an earlier fire season in Southern California, which increases the need for volunteers to join the Orange County Fire Watch Program. Nature lovers can join the Fire Watch Program and help prevent wildfires this season and beyond.

Facilitated in partnership with OC Parks, City of Irvine, City of Newport Beach, and Irvine Ranch Conservancy, the Orange County Fire Watch Program’s mission is to reduce catastrophic wildfires through education, deterrence, and early detection. Highly-trained Fire Watch volunteers and staff are stationed along roadsides near fire-prone areas to look out for potential ignitions and deter any arsonists during Red Flag Warning days.
 
Outdoor enthusiasts can support the Fire Watch volunteers while visiting the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. There are a few main ways visitors can help prevent these natural disasters.
 
Be Vigilant
Red Flag Warnings are issued when there is a weather event that increases the risk of wildfires. A combination of high winds, warm weather, low humidity, and dry vegetation are a recipe for possible wildfires. By keeping a vigilant eye for potential ignition causes or suspicious or careless activity during their time on the Landmarks, visitors can help Fire Watch volunteers report dangerous situations to the authorities before they cause a wildfire. 
 
Be Careful
Numerous wildfires are ignited in urban areas, often along roadways. Drivers who are in tune with their cars can help avoid catalytic converter explosions. Drivers should also never pull their car over dry grass, ensure tow chains are off the ground to avoid sparks, and never throw a cigarette out of a car window. Visitors who are aware of these factors can help prevent one of the main sources of wildfires in Southern California.
 
Be Ready
During wildfires, embers can travel up to a mile away from a fire, often causing separate ignition sites and damage to urban structures like homes and other buildings. Southern California residents can do their part by “fire hardening” their home.
 
 
As we approach the peak of wildfire season, Irvine Ranch Conservancy urges the community to help minimize the catastrophic damage wildfires can cause by being vigilant, careful, and ready. Joining the Fire Watch Program is also a great way for the community to volunteer and have a major impact on the lives of their Orange County neighbors.
 
“If you’re interested in volunteering, I highly encourage you to explore joining the Fire Watch program. Fire Watch helps minimize and prevent catastrophic fires to preserve open spaces and parks for future generations to enjoy,” commented Tony Pointer, Orange County Fire Watch Program Coordinator.
 
Those interested in learning about or volunteering for the Orange County Fire Watch Program can call 714-508-4700, email firewatch@irconservancy.org, and visit LetsGoOutside.org/Fire-Watch