Whether started intentionally, by lightning, or as a prescribed burn that got out of control, Pender County has had multiple wildfires throughout its history. Wildfires are dangerous due to their size and the threat they pose to disrupting transportation and utilities in addition to spreading to threaten homes and businesses. Wildfires cost the Federal Government billions of dollars each year.
Prepare for a Wildfire
- Sign up for CodeRED. If there is a wildfire threatening your area, you will be alerted.
- Know several ways to leave your area in case roads are blocked.
- Have a plan for pets and livestock. If you own horses, have quick access to a trailer.
- Have digital copies of important documents.
- Use fire-resistant materials for buildings and renovations.
- Have an outdoor water source that can reach any area of your property.
- Create a fire-resistant zone that is free of leaves, debris, and flammable material at least 30 feet away from your home.
- Review insurance coverage.
During a Wildfire
- Evacuate immediately if told to do so.
- If trapped, call 911 and give your exact locations. Turn on lights to help rescuers find you.
- Look out for CodeRED emergency alerts and watch the local news for updates.
- Use an N95 mask to keep harmful particles out of the air you breathe.
After a Wildfire
- Listen to authorities on when it is safe to return and whether it is safe to drink.
- Avoid hot ash, charred trees, or smoldering debris. The ground may contain heat pockets that can spark another fire or burn you.
- Wet debris to minimize breathing dust particles and/or wear a mask.
- Document property damage. Contact your insurance company.
- Wildfires change the landscape and ground conditions which can lead to an increased flood risk during heavy rains. The flood risk remains elevated until vegetation is restored. This can take up to 5 years.