Summer Safety Tips: How to prepare for wildfires, smoky skies, and extreme heat risks

With the sweeping impacts of climate change, wildfires have become more destructive and frequent, summers are getting hotter, and wildfire smoke has become an all-too-familiar sight in the sky. As summer gets underway, Nevada families can begin preparing for these extreme climate risks by following these important safety tips:

1. Adapt your home to wildfire

Nevadans can minimize the threat of a wildfire by making sure their homes are fire safe. That means using fire-resistant materials for your roofs or decks if possible. Make sure gutters are clear of leaves and debris, as an ember could cause a flame to spark. It’s important that you also create defensible space around your home. That means thinning out shrubs and trees, removing dead vegetation, and having a “Lean, Clean, and Green Area” for at least 30 feet from the outside of your home.

For more tips, check out Living With Fire.  

2. Stay ‘Smoke smart’

Smoke from wildfires can cause serious health impacts to sensitive groups, and in large enough wildfires, smoke plumes can cover large distances. In recent years, Nevadans have certainly felt the impacts of smoke from all across the West, including from neighboring California. In 2021, parts of Northern Nevada experienced the worst air quality on record due to the smoke that funneled in from the California fires.

Be sure to check local air quality reports and forecasts and stay indoors if conditions are unhealthy. Have supplies on hand so you don’t need to travel outdoors, and use a portable air cleaner if possible. Most importantly, follow the advice of your health care provider and have a plan to manage your condition.

You can learn more Smoke Smart tips by reading our blog last year.

3. Avoid extreme heat

Nevadans, especially in Southern Nevada, have felt the effects of extreme heat. In summer 2021, Las Vegas experienced record-high temperatures and heatwaves.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security describes extreme heat as a period of two or more days with high humidity and above 90 degrees. These conditions are responsible for more deaths annually than any other weather-related hazard.

You can prepare for extreme heart by covering windows with drapes and shades, or adding insulation and weather-stripping doors and windows. Use your air conditioner if you have one, or go to a cooling center in your area if necessary. When you’re outside, drink lots of water and look for signs of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. has more tips and resources to help you stay safe in extreme heat conditions.