2022 Wildfire Season: When is it & What You'll Need

You love your new home: The lush foliage, the stone fireplace, the cozy reading nook with the perfect morning sunshine. Everything’s in its row—except for your wildfire season preparation list.

Every year, acres are burned, and natural resources are lost due to wildfires caused by drought conditions, lightning strikes, human activities, and other causes. And each year, wildland firefighters struggle to put out fires. Forest wildfire smoke can affect road visibility, decrease air quality, and cause respiratory issues. In fact, fire officials state that one California wildfire (one of the largest) in 2021 cost $500 million to suppress.

If you’re new to living in an area that experiences wildfire season, knowing the intricacies of fire season and basic wildfire safety precautions can help keep you, your family, and your home safe during fire season.

Wildfire Season
Like most events linked to the weather, wildfire season can vary in intensity and timing depending on the year and location. For example, the risk of wildfires rises during times of drought. But knowing the broad patterns of wildfire season can help you know what to expect.

Wildfire season affects areas of every state in the U.S. If you’re not sure if your family’s home falls in an at-risk area, you can search your address on Fire Factor, a model built by Fire Street Foundation.

Many people love having homes nestled in forested areas. But as we build more and more homes in forested areas with a high risk of wildfire, more people find themselves at risk during fire season.

Fire season can hit hardest for people with homes in the following states:

● Northern California and Southern California
● Texas
● Florida
● Arizona
● Oklahoma
● New Mexico
● Colorado
● Utah
● North Carolina
● South Carolina

Here’s the bottom line: As of 2022, one in six Americans lived in an area with a significant risk of wildfires. If you’re one of those Americans, it’s critical to prepare for a wildfire to bolster your response to wildland fire danger in your area.

Timing and Duration
Just like preparing for hurricane season, wildfires have a season that must be prepared for, too. But when exactly is wildfire season? Historically, the U.S. fire season runs from about July to October. However, as fire seasons become increasingly longer due to climate change, some wildfire experts have shifted to planning for a whole year instead of a season. Peak fire season can also vary by city, state, and region.

Over the last forty years, wildfire season in Eastern and Western U.S. areas has increased in duration and intensity.

This is due in part to:

● Increased drought conditions – Dry, windy conditions increase the risk of a forest fire. When areas of the country experience greater droughts, it can increase the chance of fires throughout the year.
● Rising temperatures – Hot temperatures can lead to more frequent and more severe wildfires. That said, as temperatures rise, wildfire season is expected to lengthen.
● Human ignition activities – Nearly 85% of U.S. wildfires are caused by human activities like campfires, fireworks, burning debris, and sparks from malfunctioning equipment. These human ignition activities can happen at any time of year, artificially extending an area’s natural wildfire season. That is one of the reasons why it’s so important to know how to properly use and maintain a generator like a pro, especially during the heat of wildfire season.

As fire seasons become longer and more intense, it makes even more sense to plan ahead and take precautions to improve your quality of life during those months.

Wildfire Season Emergency Prep
Wildfire season can have direct and indirect risks for people living in affected areas.

Direct risks include:

● Fire damage to your home and possessions
● Fire-induced physical harm
● Displacement of you and your family

Indirect risks include:

● Decreased air quality
● Decreased water quality
● Increased risk of flooding
● Disrupted transportation
● Disrupted infrastructure
● Disrupted electricity

Having a plan in place to prepare and respond to these wildfire risks can help give you peace of mind and—in a worst-case scenario—help make a bad situation better.

Step 1: Know Where to Get Your Information
During wildfire season, staying informed can help you respond appropriately in the event of elevated forest fire risk.

To stay informed, heed the following:

● Regularly check a local, trusted news organization for wildfire updates, either by visiting their website or following them on social media.
● Monitor local government websites and social media to identify whether there’s an Evacuation or Protection alert. Level 1 means there’s a wildfire threat in your area and you should consider planning and packing in case of an evacuation. Level 2 means you’ll likely need to evacuate, so you should pack your essential items and start moving people with mobility and medical issues as well as livestock. Level 3 means you’ll be asked to leave your home within a given time period by using a specified route.
● If it’s available in your area, consider signing up to receive text alerts about any extreme weather in your area.

Step 2: Prepare an Evacuation Plan
You can prepare for a worst-case scenario by formulating an evacuation plan for your family.

This should include:

● A planned meeting place if you have to separate while evacuating
● Alternate transportation plans if your first transportation method or route becomes unavailable
● A list of what you want in your go-bag and where you store those items

In addition to gathering pets and livestock, it’s recommended to pack the following during an evacuation:

● Personal items like clothes, toiletries, and special personal possessions
● Any prescription items
● Photographs and other irreplaceable mementos
● Important documents

Step 3: Develop Fire-Safe Behaviors
About 44% of burned areas in the U.S. are caused by human behavior that triggers a wildfire. To help limit your vulnerability to both direct and indirect wildfire risk, try developing—and encouraging—fire-safe behaviors in your own community.

To help protect your home, try:

● Removing dead vegetation – Clearing dead leaves from the gutter, dead branches from plants, and bags of lawn cuttings from your property can help reduce the amount of flammable material near your home.
● Moving flammable materials 30 feet from your home – If you have highly-flammable materials like firewood or propane tanks on your property, move them at least 30 feet from your home.
● Using metal mesh – Screening attic vents and areas below decks and patios with metal mesh can help prevent debris from building up in unwanted places and help prevent sparks from entering the home.
● Maintaining your roof – Replacing and repairing damaged shingles and roof tiles can help prevent sparks from burrowing into your home.
● Maintaining your plants – Watering your plants, keeping any grass cut short, and pruning trees so that the lowest branch starts at least six feet above the ground can help slow the spread of wildfire on your property.

To help protect your community, follow local fire-prevention guidelines. These might include:

● Avoiding risky behaviors like fireworks and campfires during the warmer, drier months
● Keeping a hose and buckets of water on hand when engaging in activities that could result in stray sparks
● Never leave a debris fire or campfire unattended

It’s good to prepare for wildfires, but it’s even better when you can reduce the odds of them happening in the first place.

Step 4: Store Clean Water
Now that we’ve discussed ways to prepare for some of the direct risks during wildfire season, let’s cover one of the indirect risks: water disruption.

You can prepare for water disruption by:

● Storing enough bottled water to help you and your family make it through a few days of disrupted water
● Storing sterilization tools that don’t require water, such as hand sanitizer, face and body wipes, and disinfectant wipes
● Keeping disposable plates and utensils on hand in case you can’t wash dishes for a few days
● Invest in a reliable high pressure gas powered water pressure pump to provide consistent water pressure for plumbing and water fixtures

To level-up your preparation skills, try making a list of all the times you use running water throughout your day. Then brainstorm alternatives you could use in the event that a wildfire temporarily disrupts your water service.

Step 5: Buy a Generator
As we mentioned before, one of the indirect risks of wildfire season is a loss of electricity. Losing electricity can cause problems ranging from minor inconveniences to serious issues. Luckily, there’s a safe, easy fix: a well-designed portable generator.

In case of an extreme Public Safety Power Shutoff, a portable generator can help power your home in the face of a power outage.

A portable generator can help:

● Meet your daily electricity needs – From keeping the lights on to keeping the fridge and microwave running, connecting a portable generator to your house can help keep the electric appliances you use on a daily basis running smoothly.
● Support electronic communications – If you rely on your cell phone, computer,  or radio to communicate and receive updates during wildfire season, you want to keep those devices charged. Using a portable generator during a power outage can help make staying in touch with your community easier during an emergency.
● Address air quality and temperature concerns – Wildfires can lower air quality in your area. When that happens, you’ll want to keep your windows closed to reduce harmful pollutants. But closed windows during the summer can lead to uncomfortably warm temperatures. Fortunately, a portable generator can keep your air conditioner running—and your windows closed—even if the power goes out.

Buying a generator is an easy, effective way to help you prepare for life’s unpredictable seasons—whether that’s wildfire season or a snowstorm.

Prep Your Home for Wildfire Season with a DuroMax Portable Generator
As wildfire season approaches, creating an emergency plan that accounts for evacuation protocols, water safety, and energy outages is essential.

At DuroMax, we’re proud to have pioneered portable home power backup technology to ensure that your home always has access to the energy you need.

Our DuroMax Dual Fuel technology lets you fuel your generator with either gasoline or fuel-efficient and cost-efficient propane. Our EPA & CARB reduced emissions engines are safe for use everywhere in the U.S., and running our generators is as easy as pushing a button.

When you factor in our fast delivery, it’s clear why customers trust DuroMax to help keep their homes powered during wildfire season. At DuroMax, we’re passionate about improving your life, one high-performance product at a time.