It's Wildfire Season in the Desert Southwest
... and elsewhere!
Wildfire season officially started in April and will continue to rage through the Desert Southwest until the fall. States that get monsoon rains get some reprieve from the risk of dry brush, but lightning comes with its own problems. In fact, the Government of British Columbia reports that lightning starts 60% of wildfires.
The Southwest is not alone.
The American Southwest and several mountain states spend the summer on fire: from Northern Utah to Southern California and several others besides. But they are not alone.
Canada is also quite often a-light. Its most notable fire is still raging in Quebec, Ontario, and other areas. Our northern neighbor’s fire season started early this year (in March). Experts dubbed it the worst in Canada’s modern history.
States that have rarely grappled with the effects of wildfires now suffer from terrible air quality and the health conditions accompanying them. The smoke has affected U.S. states as close as New York and as far south as Kentucky.
Consequently, wherever you live in North America ― or on the rest of Planet Earth ― you should know how to respond to wildfires. Do you?
RVs provide an excellent escape choice.
You might have noticed that neither the FJ Cruiser nor the travel trailer in this week’s photo belongs to me. So who owns that sexy FJ with the crimson-red tiny home on wheels? I’ll explain.
Nevada was my first long-term destination when I started my RV journey in 2020. I spent a month living at Echo Bay within Lake Mead, just outside the Valley of Fire.
In case you’re wondering: Yes, this is where I met Jessica and Melissa!
I had heard great things about the Valley of Fire and wanted to see it, so I went hiking there on my first weekend in Nevada. That’s where I spotted this travel setup. I was so excited to see another FJ Cruiser towing on the road.
We are a rarity!
As I walked toward the trailhead, I saw the owners approaching the trailer. I ran back from the trail, calling to them. They were excited to hear that I was also towing with my FJ, and the husband came to check that I had upgraded my tow bar.
“Thank goodness!” he said. “You upgraded to the same one we did. The OEM one broke while we were towing!”
We chatted for a few minutes, and they explained that they were returning to California after a summer of adventuring. “Our community had to evacuate because of wildfires, so we figured it was a good time to take a trip until they said we could come back!” the wife explained.
“Hopefully, the house hasn’t burned to the ground by the time we get back,” the husband joked. “We’re really glad we had the RV and could leave.”
You can get caught in wildfires while camping.
This California couple successfully escaped their smoke-filled community with their tiny home. But what happens when the fire comes to you at camp? Are you prepared to get out and preserve life and limb? Do you know how to react calmly in these situations and what to do?
I answered some of these questions for TAXA Outdoors back when I used to create the content for their blog:
I conducted a few interviews to get the information in those articles and received additional advice I never included. I’ve been saving that for a write-up here and will provide that information next week.
See you then and Happy 4th of July!