While South Snohomish County may not see wildland fires on the same scale as those in rural areas of Eastern Washington, experts expect the risk of wildfire west of the Cascades to increase with climate change and population growth.
Under the right weather conditions, west-side fires can be fast-moving, South County Fire said. This happened last September in suburban Pierce County where four homes were destroyed by the sumner grade fire that burned more than 500 acres. The potential danger zones lie in the places where homes meet or intermingle with undeveloped areas of woods and vegetation. In southwest Snohomish County, this includes greenbelts, parks, ravines and utility easements.
Preparedness can help you reduce risks and protect your home and neighborhood from fire. South County Fire recommends these five steps for homeowners to take get ready before fire season:
- Clean roofs and gutters of dead leaves, debris and pine needles.
- Trim branches that overhang your home, porch and deck. Remove dead plants, leaves and branches to at least 10 feet from your home.
- Move anything that can burn away from your house: firewood piles, construction materials, etc. Clear under porches or decks.
- Clear lawn debris. Dispose of yard waste and lawn clippings that could be fuel for a fire.
- Create and practice your home fire escape plan. Just as your home fire escape plan should identify two ways out of every room, your wildland fire escape plan should include two ways out of your neighborhood. Make sure your home has working smoke alarms.
Learn more online at www.firewise.org.