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15 February 2012

Wildfire: don't wait

Would you know what to do if you were out hiking in the bush and saw smoke and flames headed your way?

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Would you know what to do if you were out hiking in the bush and saw smoke and flames headed your way?

Don't wait and think you can outrun a wildfire.

As soon as you can, try to get out of the path of the main fire front: move across (i.e. parallel to the fire front) and downslope, to the 'flanks' of the fire or to an area that has already been burned or which has no vegetation e.g. rock outcrops, dirt roads, gravel fields. Your way should be clearly visible and nearby.

If the wind is driving the fire in your direction, or it’s moving uphill towards you, you may not have time to get out of its path. Remember that fires, unlike people, generally move faster upslope, because heat rises.

- Olivia Rose-Innes, EnviroHealth Editor, Health24, February 2012

What if the fire catches up with you? Read more: Can you outrun a veldfire?  

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