If you can, walk around or through a gap in the fire. Make sure, first, that this will not put you and your family in a more dangerous situation. Look and see if a burnt patch or fire free area lies beyond the burning flames. If going beyond the fire by going through is the option, go for it. Just take precautions. Wrap yourself as much as possible in a blanket or clothing. Make sure, if you have a supply of water, to wet down your hair. Walk quickly, not stopping. The hope is that by moving quickly you will not catch fire. If flames or sparks land on your clothing, once you reach a safe spot, stop, drop and roll. Even if you’re relatively sure you made it through without catching fire, it doesn’t hurt to stop, drop, and roll anyway. Alternatively, smother the flames out with a blanket or other material, giving yourself a thorough pat down to ensure there are no smoldering embers in cuffs or collars.
FINAL THOUGHTIf you are caught in a wildfire, you will have to think and act quickly. Do not hesitate. Decide where to go. Act quickly and either dash through the flames to a more secure spot or hunker down until it passes. Keep in mind that wildfires are unpredictable. They are affected by the pattern of vegetative growth. They also are dependent upon the wind pattern. Be alert and aware of both aspects before you make your decision to stay or go through the flames.
ConclusionDo not neglect any aspect of your fire plan. It should try to cover all eventualities. You and your family must all know well ahead of the event what to do if:
- You have to evacuate
- If only a few of you are at home
- If you cannot leave home
- If you are stuck in a vehicle
- If you are out in the open