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Papabear, when we had a wildfire in my area, no one had any idea where to evacuate to. A volunteer fire department fire fighter, as we drove through a tunnel of flame and smoke, shouted to go to the Littlerock Elementary school. We did, and of course, so did everyone else. Imagine a small parking lot full of cars, trucks, horse trailers and confused people, all needing to use the bathroom....

There was ONE staff member in the School, and he had no idea why we were there or what he should do. At first he wasn't going to allow anyone inside but when he saw how many of us were there, with crying kids, panicking dogs, scared parents and elderly people like me, he finally allowed us in one at a time.

IT was insane.

Finally the Fire Chief showed up and we told them they needed to get some sort of plan in place for people like us living in Rural Thurston county on prairie.

The local horsemen have gotten together and we now have a plan to evacuate, and during the above mentioned fire in 2020, several farms opened their pastures to people with horses. But otherwise, you were pretty well out of plans. Some folks went to the local church, we had only enough time to hitch up our camper and spent the night in a friends sheep pasture. The sheep were very surprised..

So, I know this is a long post but my advice is, do your research in advance.

First off, don't think you're going to be able to stay and fight the fire. They burn hot and fast and the FD, the DNR teams, need room to work without having to protect lives.

During the fire months, we keep the camper loaded for a week's worth of evacuation-food for us, things for your pets: litter box, leashes, etc. We know where to go, we have what they call a 'meet up' point for all family members. Pack a go bag with clothing and...this is important, pack a box with important documents such as insurance policies, bills of sale for household items, ...(sorry to say, insurance companies will want to see bills of sale for things like...a refrigerator. You ahve to PROVE you owned one.) and a box for things you absolutely cannot live without, like medications, prosthetics, etc.

Hope that the county commissioners put in place a fireworks ban as well as a burn ban. And hope you don't have to deal with a prairie fire.

From: 'Red, Set, Go!' evacuation campaign introduced this Wildfire Awareness Month

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