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Posted on: May 14, 2021

Wildfire Risk Reduction Tips: You Can Make a Difference for the Community Starting Today

Defensible Space Wildfire Prevention Graphic

Late spring brings longer days and warmer weather to our area. This year it has also brought more stretches of dry weather. After a soggy start to the year and record snowpack in the mountains, April was the second consecutive month with below-average rainfall in the Puget Sound region.

What does that mean? It means land is drying out faster that it usually does this time of year, making it easier for brush fires to begin. During the weeklong warm stretch in April, three brush fires impacted Western Washington, two in the Eastside Fire & Rescue service area.

With North Bend’s proximity to the Cascade Mountains and surrounding nature comes an increased risk for wildland fires. But by working together residents can make their property – as well as their neighborhoods – much safer from wildfires.

You can make a difference starting today. There are simple low-cost changes you can make around your home and your landscape to increase wildfire safety.

Wildfire Risk Reduction Tips:

  • ONLY start a campfire or bonfire in an appropriate fire pit, cleared of all vegetation and ringed by stones; CHECK local burn bans to ensure campfires are allowed; NEVER leave it unattended; DON’T use a fire pit on a windy day;  ALWAYS make sure your recreational fire is completely doused with water and smothered with dirt when done.
  • DON’T park a hot car or other machines in dry grass.
  • SPARK arrestors are required for tractors, off-road vehicles and equipment being used in wooded areas, such as chainsaws.
  • DISPOSE of cigarette/cigar butts and used matches in a closed container or cup of water; NEVER throw butts out car windows; KEEP lighters and matches out of reach of children.
  • FOLLOW all fireworks laws and safety protocols, including keep a bucket of water nearby and NEVER let kids use them unsupervised.
  • REMOVE leaves, pine needles, and other flammable material from the roof, gutters, and on and under the deck to help prevent embers from igniting your home.
  • SCREEN areas below decks and porches with 1/8” wire mesh to help prevent material from accumulating underneath.
  • COVER exterior attic and soffit vents with 1/8” wire mesh to help prevent sparks from entering your home.
  • ENCLOSE eaves to help prevent ember entry.
  • INSPECT shingles or roof tiles. REPLACE missing shingles or tiles. COVER ends of tiles with bird stops or cement to help prevent ember penetration during a wildfire.
  • REMOVE dead vegetation and other flammable materials, especially within the first 5 feet of the home.
  • KEEP your lawn maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to help reduce fire intensity.
  • PRUNE tree limbs so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet above the ground to help reduce the chance of fire getting into the crowns of the trees.
  • MOVE construction material, trash, and woodpiles at least 30 feet away from the home and other outbuildings.
  • DISPOSE of branches, weeds, leaves, pine needles, and grass clippings that you have cut to reduce fuel for fire.

More information can be found at  https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Wildfire/Firewise-USA


Defensible Space Wildfire Prevention Graphic Photo: Fire prevention defensible perimeters examples. 

 

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