Wildfires are a natural part of California’s landscape, but the fire season in California and across the West is starting earlier and ending later each year. Climate change has caused warmer spring and summer temperatures, reduced snowpack, and earlier spring snowmelt. This has created longer and more intense dry seasons that increase susceptibility to wildfire. California has over two million households at extreme risk from wildfires, making it the most wildfire-prone state in the nation, and Irvine is no exception to this statistic, as we saw two major wildfires affect our area in fall 2020.
The 2020 California wildfire season was characterized by a record-setting year of wildfires. As of the end of the year, nearly 10,000 fires had taken 33 lives, destroyed 10,488 structures, and burned over 4.2 million acres (more than 4% of the state's roughly 100 million acres of land), making 2020 the largest wildfire season recorded in California's modern history. In addition, In 2020 alone, 9,917 wildfires burned 4,257,863 acres across California, resulting in 33 fatalities and 10,488 structures destroyed.
Ready, Set Go!
Are you wildfire ready? The height of wildfire season begins in mid-summer and runs through early autumn. Take action and utilize the Ready, Set, Go! action plan to prepare yourselves, your home, and our community from the threat of wildfire.
Take personal responsibility and prepare long before the threat of a wildfire so your home is ready in case of a fire. It’s important to create a wildfire action plan now, long before a wildfire threatens your home. Your wildfire action plan should include a family evacuation plan and a communication plan. Protect your pets by putting together a pet disaster plan, too.
Pack your vehicle with your emergency items. Stay aware of the latest news from local media and fire department for updated information. Every home should have a disaster supply kit with food, water, and basic supplies for your entire family that will last at least 72 hours. A GO! Bag is a collection of items such as prescription medications, copies of important documents, and items of personal importance that should be stored in a backpack or container that’s easy to carry during an evacuation or other emergency.
Following your Action Plan makes you prepared and firefighters able to best maneuver the wildfire; ensuring you and your family's safety. Early evacuation is the safest choice and gives your family the best chance of survival. If your family is threatened by wildfire, leave immediately.
For more information on the Ready, Set, Go! Program, visit ocfa.org/RSG
As of July 1, 2021 a seller of a property that is located in a high or very high fire hazard severity zone as identified by the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection must provide to the buyer documentation stating that the property is in compliance with local vegetation management ordinances. Visit ocfa.org/reg/ab38 to find if your property is located in the area required of AB38 disclosure requirements. You may also request an inspection of your property.