The western coast of the United States, particularly California, is well known for wildfires. California experiences the greatest number of wildfires out of all of the states, and in 2019 alone, over 1.3 million acres were burned in 5,300 separate fires. Wildfire occurrence and the annual amount of acres burned has been increasing since 1950.
Fire season in California typically occurs from August to November. Fire is a natural occurrence in many California ecosystems, including brushlands and forests. It helps clear out the leaf litter on forest floors and dry vegetation in brushlands, adding more nutrients to the soil and fostering new life.
Dating back to pre-European colonization of America, indigenous groups have used controlled burns in order to both make their land more fertile and to decrease the occurrence of large-scale fires. Modern society does not adopt this practice, which has led to the build up of dead fuels throughout many California ecosystems and resulted in large, destructive fires.
97% of the fires in California are started by people. The main ignition sources are sparks from equipment, fireworks, debris clearing, and arson. Power lines knocked down during heavy wind storms can also spark a fire. Drought and reduced snowpack in the Sierra in recent years have led to the creation of more dry fuels. Combined with drought, excessive heat also plays a role in creating wildfires. Not only does the heat further dry out the landscape, but also it can lead to lightning storms. In 2020, lightning has been the main ignition source for wildfires in California.
If you live in the state of California, especially near a wild, vegetated landscape, it is advised to have a wildfire emergency plan . When preparing for a potential evacuation you should create an emergency kit with items such as a change of clothing, medications, a first aid kit, and copies of important documents. Don’t forget food and supplies for your pets! If time allows, you will also want to box up your valuables and store them somewhere safe. This is where a storage unit can be helpful! It will give you the space to store your files, family photos, and other irreplaceable items. If you live in Southern California, Dollar Self Storage has modern and safe facilities that are ready to help you store your valuables in case of a wildfire. We’ve recently expanded our Corona Self Storage facilities with the addition of our 3rd St. “Annex”.