How Wildfires Pose a Real Danger to Homes

Forest being damaged by summer wildfire.Every summer, wildfires ravage the United States, consuming hundreds of thousands of acres of wilderness, parkland, and property. This summer was no exception, with wildfires starting and merging through October in drier parts of the US. In California alone, there have been over $3 billion dollars in claimed damage in one of the most disastrous fire seasons California has ever faced. Today we’re going to look at a specific fire that struck California, and how it’s an example of how far wildfires can reach.

Suburbia and Fires: Fountain Grove, California

Fountain Grove is a slice of suburbia outside of Santa Rosa, built around the Fountaingrove Inn and Round Barn, both remnants from the time it was a utopia colony back in 1875. However, recently it has become news again as the 36,807 acre Tubbs fire ravaged the enclave, which ripped through the community, leaving homes as piles of ash next to burned out cars. This wildfire, which caused over a third of that $3 billion price tag, is an example that wildfires are not just contained to the wilderness, and can threaten and destroy homes even near city centers.

What to Do If Your Home is Threatened by Wildfires

While this was not the first time Fountain Grove was threatened by fire – or was damaged by it for that matter – it still came as a shock to those of Fountain Grove and Santa Rosa at the rapidity of which the fires spread.

Preparing for an Evacuation

When it’s wildfire season, or you gain notifications that a wildfire has spread your way, start planning out what you would do in the event of an evacuation. Sources like are a great resource for planning the key parts of being prepared:

  • A Place to Go: Locate friends and family outside of the evacuation zone and ask them about staying with them in the event of an evacuation.
  • Prepare a Go-Bag: Prepare a bag that includes clothing, toiletries, and medication for one week. It should include chargers for your electronic devices and contact information.
  • Prepare Your Vehicle: Make sure your care has at least ½ of a tank of gas at all times. Gas stations are often out of fuel or with very long lines right before an evacuation.

Dangers to Watch Out For

When a wildfire comes near, there are two dangers to watch out for: your own safety and your home. It’s important to put your own safety before that of your property and possessions:

  • Only prepare your home if you have time. While clearing shrubbery and watering your property can help avoid fire, it is also time-consuming. If firefighting is already going on in your area, you may be pulling water pressure away from vital firefighting actions.
  • Leave as soon as possible. In many places, especial suburbs, there are few major traffic routes that can quickly become clogged or cut off by fires. Avoid having to abandon your vehicle by leaving early and in a single vehicle.

Understand Your Insurance and Fire Damage

When it comes to fire – wildfire or otherwise – it’s important to understand how your insurance can protect you. Have homeowner’s insurance? You already have coverage for your home and possessions, something you can enhance with an umbrella policy. Getting a comprehensive policy for your car will protect it against fire. Learn more about all your options to protect your home from wildfires and other natural disasters by contacting TJ Woods Insurance today!