Did you know that wildfires can move at speeds of up to 14 miles an hour? 

Oregon and Washington are prone to deadly wildfires. Droughts and dry conditions throughout the year increase wildfire risk. Careless use of fire in highly wooded areas can also dramatically increase the chance of a wildfire, which can then quickly spread across trees and dry brush and threaten homes and businesses in the vicinity. 


• Learn about the wildfire risks in your area.

• Make an escape plan and build a kit.

• Clear leaves and other vegetative debris from roofs, gutters, porches and decks. 

• Screen-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.

• Remove flammable materials (wood piles, propane tanks, etc.) from within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, such as garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.

• Prune trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.

• Choose building materials and plants that resist fire.

• Identify and maintain an adequate water source outside your home, such as small pond, cistern, well or swimming pool.

• Gather household items that can be used as fire tools such as a rake, ax, saw, bucket and shovel.

• Keep a garden hose that is long enough to reach any area of the home and other structures on the property.


• Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.

• Listen to local radio or television stations for the latest emergency information.

• Gather an emergency supply kit and be ready to leave.

• Arrange for temporary housing at a friend or relative’s home outside the threatened area.

• Confine pets to one room so you can find them if you need to evacuate quickly.

• Watch for and listen to air quality reports and health warnings about smoke.

• Keep indoor air clean by closing windows and doors to prevent outside smoke from getting in.

• Use the recycle or recirculate mode on the air conditioner in your home and/or car.

• When smoke levels are high, do not use anything that burns or adds to indoor air pollution, such as candles, fireplaces and gas stoves. Avoid vacuuming.

• If you have asthma or another lung disease, follow your health care provider’s advice.

• Dress to protect yourself; wear cotton/woolen clothing including long sleeved shirts, long pants and gloves.

• Back your car into your garage for easier evacuation.

If Outdoors

• If you are trapped outdoors, crouch in a pond, river or pool.

• Do not place wet clothing or bandanas over your nose or mouth.


• Let friends and family know you’re safe.

• Do not re-enter your home until fire officials say it is safe to do so.

• Use caution when entering burned areas as hazards may still exist, including hot spots that can flare up without warning.

• Avoid damaged or fallen power lines, poles and downed wires.

• Wear leather gloves and heavy soled shoes to protect hands and feet.


View the online version of our 2021 Salute to the U.S. Coast Guard publication here!

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