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City News / Press Releases

Posted on: September 9, 2020

Wildfire Risk Reduction Tips to Make your Home Safer

home safety

During extended periods of hot, dry weather brush and wildfire danger increases. There are preventative measures you can take to protect your home. 

On September 8th, King County entered a Stage 2 Burn Ban, which bans recreational outdoor fires. The goal of the ban is to avoid situations where sparks can occur, as with wood-burning recreational fires and campfires. Those tiny sparks, combined with dry landscape and timber, can quickly start a fire. 

On Monday, Eastside Fire and Rescue responded to a two-home fire in Sammamish. The fire was started by a smoker placed close to a homeCrews arrived on the scene quickly, but the fire had already spread to the adjacent home and was threatening a third.  

EF&R Deputy Chief Greg Tryon said current weather conditions are optimal for fire risk and quick spread if fires do occur. He recommends taking preventative steps to protect homes. 

You can find  EF&R Wildfire Preparedness Tips HERE

Tips to Make your Home Fire Resilient: 

  • Place and use barbecues a safe distance from the home’s exterior. 

  • Move trash, recycling and yard waste bins away from the home. 

  • Dispose of smoking materials in proper receptacles and douse in water, not in planters, beauty bark. 

  • Do not light fireworks. 

  • Clean roofs and gutters of dead leaves, debris and pine needles that could catch embers. 

  • Replace or repair any loose or missing shingles or roof tiles to prevent ember penetration. 

  • Reduce embers that could pass through vents in the eaves by installing 1/8 inch metal mesh screening. 

  • Clean debris from exterior attic vents and install 1/8 inch metal mesh screening to reduce embers. 

  • Repair or replace damaged or loose window screens and any broken windows  

  • Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating. 

  • Move any flammable material away from wall exteriors – mulch, flammable plants, leaves and needles, firewood piles – anything that can burn. Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches. 

  • Create fuel breaks with driveways, walkways/paths, patios, and decks. 

  • Keep your yard green if you can and when it’s safe to mow, mow it down to the lowest level that your lawn mower will allow. 

  • Remove ladder fuels (vegetation under trees) so a surface fire cannot reach the crowns.  Prune trees up to six to ten feet from the ground; for shorter trees do not exceed 1/3 of the overall tree height.

  • Space trees to have a minimum of eighteen feet between crowns with the distance increasing with the percentage of slope. 

  • Tree placement should be planned to ensure the mature canopy is no closer than ten feet to the edge of the structure. 

  • Limit trees and shrubs to small clusters of a few each to break up the continuity of the vegetation across the landscape. 

  • Dispose of heavy accumulations of ground litter/debris. 

  • Remove dead plant and tree material. 

  • Remove small conifers growing between mature trees. 

  • Remove vegetation adjacent to storage sheds or other outbuildings. 

  • Trees 30 to 60 feet from the home should have at least 12 feet between canopy tops.* 

  • Trees 60 to 100 feet from the home should have at least 6 feet between the canopy tops. 

Although the  City of North Bend is currently in phase 1 of its Water Conservation Ordinance (WCO), that does not prevent residents from watering lawns, gardens and plants. Watering times in phase 1 are 6PM to 10AM, when less evaporation is likely to occur.  Watering is allowed 7 days per week during phase 1.   

As of this time, it is unlikely the city will enter phase 2 of the WCO, due in part to the cool, wet spring and early summer.

This could change, though, if current weather conditions continue.


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