How do you prepare for this year’s fire season? tune in friday with #PrepareAthon!

Leo Kay
U.S. Forest Service, Fire and Aviation Management
April 23rd, 2014 at 4:00PM

With yet another busy fire season around the corner, the U.S. Forest Service, CAL FIRE and the U.S. Fire Administration decided to take to social media and talk about America’s PrepareAthon!, which is a nationwide, community-based campaign for action to increase emergency preparedness and resilience through hazard-specific drills, group discussions and exercises conducted at the national level every fall and spring.  Wildfire experts will be ready to answer any questions that range from how to help protect your home from wildfire to what the wildfire season forecast looks like this year.

Drought conditions in the West, especially in California, combined with other factors portend a dangerous fire season that now could start at any time.  Last year, 34 wildland firefighters died in the line of duty as fire ravaged 4.1 million acres and destroyed more than 1,000 homes around the Nation. This year the U.S. Forest Service has more than 10,000 firefighters who stand ready as well as aircraft and engines deployed around the country.  Should that call be received, these firefighters and the tools that they use are ready to spring into action.

Join U.S. Forest Service Fire Director Tom Harbour, a 45-year veteran of the Forest Service, CAL FIRE Chief Ken Pimlott and FEMA U.S. Fire Administration Fire Program Specialist Teresa Neal for a Twitter chat aimed to empower communities with the information needed to remain prepared for what might be a longer and more severe wildfire season in an era of changing climates.

Tune into Twitter @forestservice and follow #PrepareAthon on Friday, April 25 at 11am EDT (8am PST) to hear from experts in the field about how YOU can prepare your family and community if wildfire strikes.

And speaking of prevention, this year also marks another significant milestone in the wildland firefighting arena: Smokey Bear turns 70.  Given that 9 out of 10 fires in California are still caused by humans, it is clear that Smokey cannot afford to slow down in his golden years.