Natural Disaster Image Gallery
Natural Disaster Image Gallery

An unidentified woman watches as flames approach her home from a fast moving wildfire near Palmdale, Calif. on Thursday, July 29, 2010. See more pictures of natural disasters.

AP Photo/Dan Steinberg

We usually think of wildfires as horrifying events, but actually, they're part of a normal cycle of nature that helps to keep our forests healthy. The trouble starts when people who are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban living settle near a forested area. Often the desire to escape to a beautiful place trumps the knowledge that you're moving to an area prone to wildfire. But you can enjoy the view and take reasonable precautions to keep your family and yourself safe. Here are some tips to protect your family and property from wildfires.