In the links and documents tabs above there is some very useful information about our current fire season. Below is some good information about burned areas after a fire.
Post Fire Hazard Talking Points
The number one priority of fire managers is firefighter and public safety. When a fire occurs in an area where people live and spend time recreating, it is a big temptation to go explore in the burned fire area. Exploring a fire area is very dangerous. Some of the hazards include:
ØImpacts to firefighting efforts — Firefighters work in inherently dangerous conditions requiring a focused attention to detail. Public in the area compromises their ability to focus and to stay busy with the tasks at hand. When the firefighters are falling hazard trees, watching for members of the public is distracting. Firefighters and the public are both at risk when vehicle traffic increases. Duration: Firefighters need to complete their work before allowing the public back into an area.
>Unburned Island — Interior areas of the fire may have unburned or partially burned islands. These are often not mopped up and have the potential to reburn. Duration: Heat can reside unnoticeable for weeks to months in these areas, then flare up with a late summer breeze.
>Thunderstorms—Thunderstorms in this area can be very intense, slow to move, and drop large amounts of moisture. The unburned fuels float easily and can be transported in debris washes that can overwhelm someone on foot in the fire area. Duration: This hazard may remain for months to a year.
>Stump holes — stump holes are places where a dead stump burned with the fire. These stumps burn very slowly and often end up being a couple of feet deep, two or three feet across, and filled with nothing but hot ash. They can be hard to see. If you accidentally step into one of these, you can suffer severe burns immediately. Duration: Stump holes may remain hot for many weeks after a fire is contained.
ØHazard Trees — when a fire burns an area, trees can burn partially through anywhere on the tree. This weakens the tree and it can break and fall any time. This is called a hazard tree. This is one of the highest hazards to firefighters and anyone else entering the fire area. Even though the fire crews often work to identify and fall these trees, they sometimes miss them. These trees can break anytime without any warning sounds. Imagine how much a baseball bat would hurt if someone stood on the roof and dropped it on your head. Duration: Hazard trees can remain for years in burned areas.
Firefighters are very aware of these hazards, are trained to recognize them, and carefully look for them. Yet, because of the difficulty in identifying them, these hazards cause injuries to firefighters every year.
It is imperative that the public stay out of recently burned areas for their own safety.
This page has been created for the Kane County Emergency Manager and Fire Warden to be able to post information about fires in Kane County. For active fires see documents and links options.