Monday, July 16, 2012

Good advice--from a bear!

In case you haven't stepped outside of the air conditioning lately, the hot and hazy days of Summer 2012 continue! The heat is on again in Buffalo today, and temps Tuesday predicted to reach over 90 degrees with high humidity. Since this isn't exactly the first time we've experienced these conditions this year, you're probably quite familiar with how to stay safe in the extreme heat-things like drinking lots of water (#H20B4UGO!), wearing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing and not leaving kids or pets in an enclosed vehicle.

A Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle on the scene
of an area devastated by recent wild fires in Colorado
What you may not be aware of is how these hot, dry conditions increase the risk of wild fires. In fact, Governor Cuomo recently instituted a residential burn ban across New York State. Unfortunately, we've already seen an example of how quickly a small fire can spread in these conditions, as firefighters battled a brush fire in Derby over the weekend. As evidenced by recent events in Colorado and other western states, wild fires can be fast moving and have a devastating affect on those who live in the area.

While the American Red Cross has a lot of experience responding to wild fires, we here in Western New York don't see them all that often. So take a moment to review this wild fire safety checklist and review the Governor's burn ban letter referenced above for ways to help prevent a fire from spreading quickly. If, like me, you're old enough to remember Smokey the Bear, you know that "Only You can Prevent Forest Fires!"