PSA: Don’t Blindly Use Navigation in California Wildfire Zones!
Be vigilant and alert at all timesby Kirby Garlitos, on
Unless you’ve bee living under a rock, it’s impossible to ignore the series of wildfires that are happening in California and not feel for those who are affected. The fire, called the Thomas Fire, has laid waste to at least 200,000 acres of land, left more than 85,000 households without power, and forced come to 100,000 people to evacuate their homes. It’s a serious disaster that has affected so many lives. Mandatory evacuations are taking place all over Los Angeles as some areas are literally wind gusts away from being affected. In the event that you live in a potential danger zone, heed our advice on this one critical aspect of your evacuation: don’t hastily follow routes that are suggested by GPS devices.
You only need to look at videos of the wildfire to understand the magnitude of the situation. There’s nothing funny about what’s happening in that area of California, so it’s important that residents of the area stay vigilant on their understanding of the wildfire and the imminent threat it poses.
Evacuating from affected areas is critical in times like this. If you’re going to do it, make sure that you’re not rushing it. Be smart and think with a clear head. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use navigation devices at all cost because they could be very useful in determining the right routes to take. But the flip side to that is there’s a chance that the roads the computer sees as having no traffic on them could be because they’re either closed or are on fire. In this case, stay alert of your surroundings. State officials have said that roadblocks are set up on a lot of the affected streets so keep an eye out for them when you’re trying to drive away from the fire.
If you do find yourself in unfamiliar roads, GPS can be your ally, especially if you don’t know your surroundings. But don’t use it as the only tool at your disposal. Use all of your applicable senses, including common sense. It might spell the difference in finding your way to safety or getting stuck in a vulnerable area.
The good news is that there haven’t been any reports of people getting stuck in areas because their GPS units led them there. Let’s hope that it stays that way. More importantly, let’s hope that this wildfire ends sooner than later. It’s been going on for a week now, and while we do appreciate and commend all the firefighters and rescue volunteers who have been on the scene trying to control the chaos, they need more help in trying to contain the situation.
Thoughts and prayers up to everybody affected. We’re thinking of you.
Source: Los Angeles Times