Anna Mazzocchi
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Anyone following the news knows that California has had a difficult year with wildfires. This, however, is nothing too out of the ordinary; wildfires have always been common, unfortunate events in the history of California that have claimed lives, destroyed homes and devastated wildlife, all at an alarming pace.

What you may not realize is that we have 
intense wildfires in Texas, too. Most recently, we have seen four of them occur, spreading from the Panhandle and eventually ending in the center of the state. Experts say that the risk of widespread wildfires will likely only get worse due to two unavoidable factors: the intense heat and the ongoing drought.

I highly doubt anyone needs an explanation of the level of devastation that comes with wildfires. Besides being a danger to our lives and our homes, we lose wildlife, natural beauty, and vegetation.

What Can You Do To Help?

It’s time to take a leaf out of Smokey the Bear’s book and take the proper, responsible steps to help prevent wildfires in our beautiful state. Here are a few practices listed to keep in mind:

  • If you and your family are campers, cautiously choose a campfire site that is not near any dry areas or brush, is in an open location, and is a safe distance from your tent. Don’t forget to take wind into account when choosing a location for your campfire.

  • Sparking of any kind can cause a wildfire in the right conditions. Your car can cause a spark in many different ways, as can machines like lawnmowers and other household equipment. Keep in mind the time of day you are doing yard work and keep your equipment in good condition. This especially applies if you are in a wooded area or an area with a significant amount of trees or brush around you. That is endless fuel for a fire and will only allow it to grow further.

  • Be extremely cautious and aware of your surroundings when you conduct controlled debris burning on your property. This is also an incredibly important time to keep the direction of the wind in mind.

Maybe I’m biased, but I think we have one of the most beautiful states in the country. We need to do everything we can to protect it. With intense heat and continuing drought conditions, we cannot afford a careless accident.

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