There is no doubt that we are in the midst of a very active fire season, and it seems that few sections of the South West have been spared. We have seen record breaking fires in some of the most beautiful and scenic areas anywhere, including Yosemite.
For those of us who travel to our favorite outback locations here in the States, we need to always be prepared to deal with the possibility of wild fires and how to safely exit. Our net will include a discussion of how to protect yourself in the event you are caught in an area of fire as well as some suggestions on how to avoid getting caught.
Here are a couple of websites that you should consult, BEFORE you begin your trip:
1. InciWeb. https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/
This site gives detailed information on fires in the U.S, including road closures, containment information, and much more. Consulting this website should be a mandatory part of your pre-trip planning. If you expect to travel to areas where there are active fires, you should have a means to regularly consult this site or be able to receive messages about the status of fires that may affect you.
2. Cal Fire. http://www.fire.ca.gov/general/firemaps
For those living in California, this site is another source that you should consult, for the reasons stated above.
3. National Weather Service (NOAA) Radio Broadcasts
NOAA broadcasts weather on a continual basis, throughout the country. Since weather significantly affects the extent and direction of wildfires, knowing current conditions, as well as predictions, can help you to avoid danger. The frequencies upon which NOAA broadcasts, should be programmed in your Ham radio. Here is what they say (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/)
Known as the "Voice of NOAA's National Weather Service," NWR is provided as a public service by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), part of the Department of Commerce. NWR includes 1025 transmitters, covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Pacific Territories. NWR requires a special radio receiver or scanner capable of picking up the signal. Broadcasts are found in the VHF public service band at these seven frequencies (MHz):