The potential exists for you and your family to become trapped in your car as you attempt to evacuate. Wildfires can move very quickly and jump to new areas unexpectedly, blocking your path.
If this occurs, follow these directions from the National Fire Service:
- Roll up all car windows tightly
- Close every car vent
- If you can continue to drive, proceed slowly
- Never drive through thick smoke. You do not know where it will lead you
- If you have to stop, do not park near any vegetation, growth or items that will catch fire
- Turn the engine off BUT leave the headlights on so you are visible. This will act as a signal to firefighters, police and other motorists, identifying the position of your vehicle
- If it becomes necessary, lie close to or actually on the floor of the vehicle
- Cover yourself with clothing, a blanket or any other type of preferably flame retardant covering
- Remain in your vehicle until help arrives or the wildfire moves on
Above all, if you find yourself trapped in your car, remain calm. It’s not an ideal situation by any means, but panic will make things worse. Deal with the deck you’ve been dealt and try to make the best of your situation whether you are forced to stay in your home, trapped in your vehicle or caught out in the open.