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5 Tips For Hikers Caught In Wildfires

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A hiker walks below an orange sky filled with wildfire smoke on the Limeridge Open Space hiking trails in Concord, California on September 9, 2020. (Photo by BRITTANY HOSEA-SMALL/AFP via Getty Images) BRITTANY HOSEA-SMALL/AFP via Getty Images
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What should you do if you're hiking and a wildfire breaks out nearby?

Lots of hikers, campers and boaters have been asking themselves this question lately, as wildfires sweep through popular recreation areas in California.

I interviewed two fire behavior experts, and both stressed how important it is to try to avoid getting trapped by the fire in the first place. Stay as far from the fire as you can, remain upwind or perpindicular to the direction the fire is moving, and consider climbing to a ridge or highpoint to keep an eye on the fire. Or use a phone or satellite communication device to get this information.

But if you can't escape a fast-moving wildfire, there are a few things you can do to increase your likelihood of survival.

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