Newport Beach is one of the most beautiful places to live and visit, but the urban-coastal environment comes with its share of risks. What used to be called “fire season” has become a year-round reality. The threat of a wildfire requires firefighters and residents to be prepared and on alert. It is not a question of “if,” but a question of “when” the next major wildfire will occur in Orange County.
Get prepared for wildfire before it strikes by following the tips in the Ready, Set, Go! plan to create a more fire-safe environment for you and your family. Download the publications below for step-by-step instructions on preparing for wildfires.
Create and maintain “defensible space” and guard your home against flying embers.
Wildfire preparation starts with developing and maintaining an adequate defensible space (a safety “buffer” around your home) and by using fire-resistant building materials. Defensible space is created by removing dead plants, grass, weeds and any other flammable materials. This buffer helps to keep the fire away from your home. In addition, the right construction materials and repairs can help your home withstand flying embers, which can result in your house catching fire. This process is called “home hardening” against wildfires. It takes a combination of defensible space and home hardening to give your house the best chance of surviving a wildfire. For more information on hardening your home, see Section G of our Guidelines and Standards.
Prepare your family and home in advance of the possibility of an evacuation.
Before wildfire strikes, it is important that you and all members of your household “get set.” Follow these steps in advance of a wildfire:
- Create a Wildfire Action Plan that includes evacuation planning for your home, family, and pets.
- Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit for each person in your household.
- Fill out a Family Communication Plan that includes important evacuation and contact information.
Take the necessary evacuation steps to give your family and home the best chance of staying safe during a wildfire.
Make sure that you and your family are ready to go and evacuate early. Being ready to go also means knowing when to evacuate and what to do if you become trapped by the wildfire.
When immediate evacuation is necessary, follow these steps and GO!
- Review your Evacuation Plan Checklist.
- Ensure your Emergency Supply Kit is in your vehicle.
- Cover-up to protect against heat and flying embers. Wear long pants, a long sleeve shirt, heavy shoes or boots, a cap, a dry bandanna for face cover, and goggles or glasses. For the best protection, 100% cotton is preferred.
- Locate your pets and take them with you.
The Newport Beach Fire Department takes every precaution to help protect you and your property from wildfire. In the event of a major wildfire, however, public safety resources will become severely strained and firefighters will not be able to respond to every call for service. Therefore, you should take steps now to be prepared.
Through advance planning and preparation, you can be ready for a wildfire or any emergency situation.
The Newport Beach Fire Department, in partnership with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), has created and published Ready, Set, Go! that provides tips and tools you need to prepare for such an event. This plan teaches you how to prepare for a fire, what to do when a fire breaks out, and when to leave your property to get out of harm’s way and allow firefighters access to work. Review it, share it with your family, and implement the useful information to stay safe and be prepared.
Want to learn more about being prepared for a disaster or emergency situation? Enroll in the Fire Department's Community Emergency Response Team for training and to learn lifesaving skills.