Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Find a place to make your stand. You will never outrun a wildfire, period. Your biggest risk of injury and death is not from the flames, but from superheated air, which can sear your lungs. Find a wet area to lie down in. A swampy, boggy area away from forest fuels is best. If there is a larger body of water like a pond or lake, swimming out to the middle and treading water is also effective. If you're on a paddling trip, getting under your canoe and getting into the river can shield you from the heat and provide you with a pocket of cool air to breathe. If all else fails find the largest opening you can. Your odds will improve if you can find a pocket of cool air to breath and can be shielded from burning debris. Sand bars, gravel washes and rocky areas can offer some protection.
Report fires immediately. Yes, there can be severe consequences for starting a wildfire, even if by accident. However you should consider it your duty to report any wildfire you see or start. Early intervention can prevent major disasters.