Boost Your Wildfire Knowledge. Join Cascadel Ranch News for only 99 cents a month.

Download our free guide!

Go Early & Stay Safe

This is an example of a structure chain reaction. Homes became the ignition source of other homes. Go early and stay safe.

If a live fire is happening in your area and you may be under threat of evacuation and you haven’t prepared well in advance, use the list below to gather up critical items, pack your car, and get ready.
Click to Download Printable Checklist PDF Opens in a New Window

Copies of Documents

  • Insurance policies
  • Passports
  • Birth certificates
  • Property deeds
  • Other paperwork that can’t easily be accessed

Personal Items

  • Medications
  • Eyeglasses
  • House keys
  • Change of Clothes
  • Cash money
  • Photos
  • Water
  • Basic toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloth, towels
  • Cell phones

Additional Items

  • Radio & flashlight with batteries
  • Warm Clothes
  • Blankets / Sleeping Bags
  • Sun Glasses
  • Shovel


  • Food
  • Water
  • Medications
  • Shelter, relocation site

Note: An evacuation center will not allow pets to be housed with evacuees. Contact animal control / rescue. See links.


In the event of an evacuation notice, the Madera County Sheriff’s office will coordinate the evacuation process. Notice will be given through the “Reverse 911 system,” MC Alert, or through direct contact with the sheriff’s deputies. Click to sign up for MC Alert
When an evacuation is anticipated, follow these checklists (if time allows) to give your home the best chance of surviving a wildfire:

Outside Your Home

  1. Gather up flammable items from the exterior of your home (decks, patios, etc), and bring them indoors or move them away from the structure. This includes things like patio furniture, children’s toys, door mats, trash cans, etc.
  2. Turn off propane tanks.
  3. Move propane BBQ appliances away from structures.
  4. Connect garden hoses to outside water valves or spigots for use by firefighters. Fill water buckets and place them around the house.
  5. Don’t leave sprinklers on or water running. They can affect critical water pressure.
  6. Leave exterior lights on so your home is visible to firefighters in the smoke or darkness of night.
  7. Put your Emergency Supply Kit in your vehicle.
  8. Back your car into the driveway with vehicle loaded and all doors and windows closed. Carry your car keys with you.
  9. Have a ladder available and place it at the corner of the house for firefighters to quickly access your roof.
  10. Seal attic and ground vents with pre-cut plywood or commercial seals.
  11. Patrol your property and monitor the fire situation. Don’t wait for an evacuation order if you feel threatened.
  12. Check on neighbors and make sure they are preparing to leave.

Inside Your Home

  1. Shut all windows and doors, leaving them unlocked.
  2. Remove flammable window shades and curtains. Close metal shutters.
  3. Move flammable furniture to the center of the room, away from windows and doors.
  4. Shut off gas at the meter. Turn off pilot lights.
  5. Leave your lights on so firefighters can see your house under smoky conditions.
  6. Shut off the air conditioning.


  1. Locate your pets and keep them nearby.
  2. Prepare farm animals for transport and think about moving them to a safe location early

Okay. If you have more time to get ready click for the Prepare page.