What To Do When Driving Near a Wildfire

by Jason Spratt

Driving Through a Wildfire: What You Need to Know

If you’re planning a road trip in a wildfire-prone area, you might face some challenges along the way. Road closures, low visibility, and unexpected dangers are some of the things you could encounter. That’s why it’s important to be ready and follow some simple advice on how to drive through a wildfire safely.


Don’t Freak Out, Stay Focused, and Drive Smart

The last thing you want to do when driving through a wildfire is to lose your cool and speed up. That could cause more trouble for you and others. Instead, you should slow down and keep a good gap from the car ahead of you. You should also switch on your headlights and hazard lights to make yourself more noticeable to other drivers in the smoke.

If the smoke is really bad, you can honk your horn to let others know you’re there. Pay attention to your surroundings and look out for any potential problems, such as cars that have stopped, animals that are running away, or stuff that’s falling. If you have to pull over, find a safe spot that’s not near anything that can burn, like grass, trees, or brush. Try to find a place that’s close to water, rocks, or concrete, as these can shield you from the fire.


Keep Your Windows Shut

Smoke can hurt your lungs and make you feel sleepy. You can lower your exposure by keeping your windows shut, turning off your outside air vents, and setting your AC to recirculate mode. This will stop the smoke from getting into your car and keep the air inside fresher. But you should also remember to turn off the recirculate mode every hour for about 15 to 30 minutes, to let some fresh air in and get rid of any pollutants. This will help you stay awake and healthy.


How to Drive Through a Wildfire

Driving through a wildfire is no joke. You need to take some precautions to make sure you and your car are safe and ready for the challenge. Here are some tips from people who have driven through some of the worst wildfires in North America.


Clean Your Windows, Mirrors, and Headlights

Trust me, you don’t want to deal with smoke and dust blocking your view or making you look like a ghost. Use some products that are designed for this job, like headlight restoration kits. If you’re out of luck, you can also try some baking soda or toothpaste, but be careful not to scratch the surface. And don’t forget to bring a cleaning kit with you, in case you need to do some touch-ups on the road. You want to see and be seen, right?


Have an Emergency Kit in Your Car

You never know what might happen when you’re driving through a wildfire, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Pack some essentials like non-perishable food, water, jumper cables, phone charger, fire blankets, first aid kit, flashlight, batteries, tire gauge, whistle, warning lights, tow rope, and if it’s cold, a shovel, salt, scraper, or snowbrush. You should also remove any flammable items from your car, such as gas cans, oil cans, or synthetic materials, as they can catch fire easily. It’s also a good idea to have a map in your car, in case you lose your cell signal and need to find an alternative route.


Get Roadside Assistance

One of the common problems that drivers face when driving through a wildfire is engine stall. This can happen because the smoke particles can clog your air filter and prevent your engine from getting enough air. If this happens to you, you’ll need roadside assistance to get you back on the road.

That’s why you should call us today and get the roadside assistance package that suits your needs and your vehicle. We have packages for all kinds of vehicles, such as cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, scooters, commercial trucks, and RVs and trailers. We’ll be there for you 24/7/365, no matter where you are in Canada or the USA.

At Access Roadside Assistance, we’re committed to providing you with the best roadside assistance service possible. We’ll help you drive safely through any wildfire and reach your destination with peace of mind.

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