The western portion of the United States, including parts of Alaska and Hawaii are having a drier summer season. Ranging between abnormally to exceptionally dry conditions, these arid territories have already been hit with 48 wildfires this season, according to WKYC, an Ohio NBC affiliate.
A majority of these blazes occurred in California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Local authorities can help get residents to safety sooner if they have an established continuity of operations plan. Over the weekend, parts of Idaho and California were hit once again by flames.
In Beaver Creek, Idaho, the state's most recent natural disaster has been going on for 12 days, spanning across over 126,000 acres, and possibly affecting 10,000 homes, according to NBC News. Over 1,200 firefighters are in the area, hoping to contain a fire that started near the Sun Valley Resort, which is a community with properties owned by celebrities Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis.
A streak of lightning strikes that caused the fire already forced local officials to initiate an evacuation for 2,250 homes. The other 7,700 households were asked to "take your essentials, belongs and pets and go now," but it was not required according to Idaho's Incident Information System.
"I think we're getting to the point where we can start making some progress rather than just be on the defensive," Beth Lund of the U.S. Forest Service told Reuters. "But when Mother Nature feels she has the upper hand, she keeps it for a while."
Burning car ignites wildfire, blaze quickly spreads
Even though Sunday's afternoon storm was not caused by natural causes, emergency personnel should inform locals about the possibilities of these scenarios, especially during the summer months.
Along U.S. Highway 101 in Calabasas, California, a car that caught fire made contact with a nearby bush Sunday afternoon, KTLA, a local news station reported. From there, the flames traversed across 170 acres. As of Sunday evening, about 50 percent of the blaze was contained and local firefighters were expecting to entirely stop the fire by Monday morning.
Part of the team's success was due to an aircraft releasing flame retardant, significantly decreasing the fire's potential, according to NBC Los Angeles. This is the first time the state used the plane this season.
Businesses and homeowners can benefit from business continuity consultants who specialize in these operations. Their expertise can help communities establish hot sites and practice tabletop exercises to keep themselves prepared.