Pitch Your Tent: Wildfires

Reporting A Wildfire

What should I do if my fire gets away?
It could happen. No matter how careful you are, you can start a wildfire. Here’s what you do:

1. Don’t panic! If you can extinguish the fire in less than 5 minutes, do so. If the fire is spreading too quickly, get out of there and call for help. Quick action is important, however, there is no reason to panic.

2. Think about your location. You will need to relay exactly where you are, including the county. If you have a GPS, take coordinates and write them down. If you don’t, use a map and have a description ready. Use landmarks and distances from known points. For example: 5 miles north of Tum Tum Mountain; or on SR-503 about a mile east of Jack’s Store.

3. Get to the nearest phone and Call 9-1-1. If you’re using a cell phone, make sure that you have reached a dispatcher in the county that you’re in or ask them to transfer you to that county. If you can’t find a phone, or don’t have cell signal, find someone with a radio or CB and ask them to call for help.

4. If no one is around, walk or drive to the nearest phone. Remember not to panic. Drive or walk safely. You won’t be able to report the fire if you don’t make it to help in one piece.

5. Tell the dispatcher that you need to report a wildfire and give the description of your location. If you can, tell them how big the fire is (for example: “Its about 20 feet by 20 feet and growing.”) how quickly the fire is spreading, wind direction and speed and what type of fuel the fire is burning (grass, logging slash, forest floor etc.). You may be asked to help lead fire fighters to the fire.

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