Road Safety During a Wildfire

According to the College of Natural Resources at U.C. Berkeley, being trapped in your vehicle is one of the leading causes of wildfire deaths. The best way to avoid danger is to evacuate as soon as officials advise, but what should you do if you find yourself on the road and in the heart of a wildfire?

We tapped fire safety organizations Cal Fire and FEMA to find these tips for road safety during a wildfire:

  • Avoid smoke
    • Drive away from smoke when you see it. Have a backup route ready and don’t attempt to outrace flames, which are known to jump and spread erratically
  • Park smart
    • Park in a space clear of vegetation, like an empty parking lot or area without grass or flammable material
  • Close up
    • Leave your engine on and close all your windows and air vents; this will help keep smoke out of the car
  • Lie low
    • Get below your windows and as close to the ground as possible to avoid radiant heat

Your safety is our priority. If you’re in an area where wildfires are escalating, make sure to confirm specific safety procedures with your organization. Check out our resource library for more natural disaster safety tips.