How to Protect Yourself From Wildfires: Common Sense

What if you are backpacking or camping, and are confronted by a fast-moving wildfire? What should you do? What should you carry?

Jun 11, 2012
Outside Magazine

In the end, there is no substitute for common sense.

I regard wildfires much as I regard avalanches: A force of nature you simply do not want to mess with.

So don’t make that trip into a high-risk area when the weather is threatening. And, of course, don’t make things worse by lighting toilet paper (which happened along Lake Chelan in eastern Washington in 1985, torching 500 acres) while trying to start a campfire, tossing lit butts, etc.

And if a fire does start in your area, don’t spectate. Get as far away as you can. A fast-moving, wind-driven fire can outrun any human being, especially one who is tired or trying to move uphill across rough terrain.

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