San Diego

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Wildland Fires

Photo of Wildfire

Every year, wildland fires threaten hundreds of homes, causing millions of dollars in damage. Areas with an abundance of flammable vegetation and periods of dry, hot, windy weather are particularly vulnerable to wildfires.

Learn what you can do to protect yourself and your property.


  • Sweep gutters, roofs, and eaves regularly. Remove dead branches around chimneys.
  • If fire is approaching, remove combustible materials, including wood piles, lawn furniture, doormats, barbecue grills, and tarps, from around your home.
  • Locate your evacuation checklist and assemble the items in it. Place these items in your vehicle.
  • Evacuate before the fire approaches your home. Back your car into the driveway and roll up the windows to allow for a quicker getaway. Plan to bring your valuables and your pets.
  • Close and protect your home's openings, including attic doors and vents, windows, doors, and pet doors. Remove flammable drapes and curtains and close all shutters, blinds, or heavy non-combustible drapes. Do not lock the doors and windows in case firefighters have to make a quick entry to fight the flames.
  • Close all the interior doors in your home and the fireplace screen. Open the fireplace damper.
  • Shut off any natural gas, propane, or fuel oil supplies at the source.
  • Connect garden hoses and fill any pools, hot tubs, garbage cans, tubs, or other large containers with water.
  • Disconnect garage door openers so the doors will open if there is no power.
  • Place a ladder against the house in clear view.
  • Turn on the outside lights and at least one light in each room to make your house more visible in heavy smoke.

After the Fire

  • Do not return to your home until authorities say it is safe. If you are at home or able to return to your home, check the roof immediately and put out any roof fires, sparks, or embers. Check the attic for hidden burning sparks.
  • Use the water in your pool or tubs. If your power is out, try connecting hoses to the outlet on your water heater.
  • Maintain a fire watch for several hours after the fire. Re-check for smoke and sparks throughout the home.