The wildfire season is well underway in Washington State and across the western U.S. Here in our greater Spokane Valley Fire Department service area, the wildfire concern is centered on the wildland-urban interface.
The wildland-urban interface is generally considered the area where dry vegetation and the development of homes in wooded and semi-wooded areas converge. The very real possibility of a small brush fire growing into a larger brush or wildland fire near the wildland-urban interface, means homeowners should already be prepared. There are several things that home and property owners can do to assist in making their homes fire safe and defensible in case of a nearby brush or wildland fire.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) “FireWise Communities” program offers a wide range of information to assist communities with increasing wildfire safety. Some of these tips include:
- Create a home ignition zone that removes or minimizes combustible vegetation on your property.
- Develop, discuss and practice an emergency action plan with everyone in your home. Know the ways out of your neighborhood.
- Ensure that the streets in your neighborhood are clearly marked and that home address numbers are clearly visible.
- Utilize fire-resistant roof construction materials such as asphalt, metal, slate, clay tile or concrete.
- Be sure that any attachments to your home such as decks, porches and fences are fire-resistant.
- Use fire retardant siding and tempered or double-paned glass windows in your home.
More information related to making your home and property fire safe.
Outdoor Recreational Fires
Summertime and nice weather means that many of us are firing up our grills and wishing to enjoy our backyard fire pits or build a campfire. However, effective July 7, all outdoor recreational fires are prohibited in the Cities of Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Millwood and the unincorporated areas of the Spokane Valley Fire Department service area. This includes fire pits and campfires – anything that disperses burning embers into the air.
There are several types of manufactured portable outdoor devices that are allowed during the “Burn Ban” including chimineas, portable outdoor fireplaces and patio/deck warmers used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. These devices must be used with approved fuel — seasoned clean dry firewood, briquettes, propane or natural gas. Designated campfires in parks and campgrounds may be allowed as approved and determined by agencies with jurisdiction. Open burning of fields, yard waste and garbage is never allowed.
There are several requirements for outdoor fires in Spokane County, including the City of Liberty Lake and City of Spokane Valley. Approved fire extinguishing equipment must be on hand and ready for use. Equipment can include a garden hose, dirt, sand, bucket, shovel, or a portable fire extinguisher.
Read about current SVFD Fire Danger Burning Restrictions.
Burning may be temporarily restricted by Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency due to increasing fine particle (smoke) levels and air stagnation. Check current status or call the Burn Info Hotline at (509) 477-4710.