Wildfires, which happen most often in the west, burn several million acres of U.S. woodland every year.
How to stay safe: "In a wildfire, truly every second counts," says Judge. "They spread quickly, igniting trees and homes." If a wildfire is burning in your area, monitor the fire reports on local media and be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice. Close windows and doors to minimize smoke exposure, and stay away from outside walls. If you're in a car and a fire is approaching, roll up the windows, close the vents, and drive slowly. If there’s no escape route and you have to stop, stay in the car, get on the floor, and cover up with a blanket or a coat.
No matter what: Don’t try to stand your ground with a garden hose. "You don't stand a chance," says Judge. "Save yourself and your family. You can always replace your possessions."