Here’s a question from a reader of RVtravel.com about boondocking.
The current wildfires and the likelihood of a dry, incendiary summer fire season has me quite uneasy regarding where I usually spend my summers – camping and boondocking in the Western forests. What should I be doing – and not doing – when camping this fire season? —George
You’re right. It is looking like a busy wildfire season, with firefighting crews stretched ragged as they try to control the blazes. It is very hard to predict where and when the next series of wildfires will break out, so planning your trips is more a matter of being flexible rather than making firm plans, like making campground reservations. Just as no one can tell you where the next fire will erupt, no one can tell you which way and how far it will move across the landscape.
I would suggest that you stay well clear of all fire areas. If you are boondocking, rangers and firefighters may not even know you are in the danger zone, which could leave you cut off from escape, information and evacuation orders from fire officials – and in great danger. It is not just for your safety and comfort, but also to stay out of the firefighters’ way as they need to control access to fire areas and do not need RVs clogging roads or needing to be rescued.
Wildfires can move fast, and access and exit points change, and you may be cut off by fires or road closures. You don’t want to get caught in an active fire area. But another good reason is that most of the fire areas also encounter lots of wind, and wind will blow choking smoke for miles away from the fire location, not only making breathing difficult but hazardous to your health as well. And what fun is it to camp in a choking smokey campsite.
Go into the Cal Fire website to see the latest updates on where current fires are burning and head in the opposite direction.
You can get Current Fire Information from the Cal Fire Incident page.
Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) gmail.com .