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AREA FIRE DEPARTMENTS ARE SEEING AN INCREASE IN CALLS FOR POSSIBLE ILLEGAL BURNING

Mar 31, 2021

Spring 2021 Recreational Burning Joint Release

Recreational Burning Fire Smart Flyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spokane Valley Fire has seen a significant increase in illegal burn calls.  2020 had a big impact on illegal burning countywide.  With Wildfire Season just around the corner, there are some concerns for the fire safety of our community.

Here is a 6 year look at illegal burning calls in the Spokane Valley Fire District:

Year Total YTD YoY Change YoY % Change
2021 83 24 40.68%
2020 59 27 84.38%
2019 32 -19 -37.25%
2018 51 24 88.89%
2017 27 -25 -48.08%
2016 52 -2 -3.70%

 

With spring and warmer weather conditions here, it is important as we begin resuming outdoor yard work and spring cleaning to have a clear understanding of what is legal to burn and what is not.

To keep air quality clean and reduce area fire risk, we want to remind our community members that the burning of garbage, including construction material, and the use of burn barrels is prohibited statewide. Burning outdoors, including yard debris, is not allowed in areas served by Spokane Valley Fire Department.

If you want to enjoy an outdoor recreational fire, please “Be Fire Smart” and follow these burning requirements:

  • Only burn clean, dry firewood or manufactured logs,
  • Recreational fires cannot be used for disposal of anything, including natural yard/garden vegetation,
  • Burn 25’ away from any structure, like a house, garage, or fence,
  • Have an extinguisher or charged water hose nearby,
  • Stay near the fire,
  • Fires can be no larger than 3’ wide and 2’ tall, and
  • Put out the fire completely!

Remember, recreational fires that get out-of-control are a common cause of wildfires caused by people. A person can be held financially responsible for the cost of fire department response and any property damage caused.

You may ask what you can do with your yard debris, here are some alternatives to burning:

  • Grasscycling uses your grass clippings as a natural fertilizer,
  • Chipping and mulching inhibits weeds, retains moisture and releases nutrients,
  • Composting of ordinary yard and kitchen waste,
  • Your garbage hauler may offer curbside pick-up or “clean green” pick-up services, and
  • Haul your yard debris to the nearest Transfer Station.

Typically, during July through September outdoor burning is restricted by fire officials due to fire danger. Always check current burn conditions before starting any fire. For information on current burn conditions, visit https://www.spokanecleanair.org/current-burning-conditions or call the Burn Status hotline at (509) 477-4710.

 

Media Release Page 1Media Release Page 2

Did you Know?

 

  • You can sign up for a station tour. Great for small groups.
  • You should replace the batteries in your smoke alarms twice a year.
  • Creating a defensible space with regards to wildfires could just save your home or property.

Media Contact

  • Julie Happy
  • 509-892-4155

Commissioner Patrick Burch

Board Member Since: July 18, 2016
Current term expires: December 31, 2025

Commissioner Burch was appointed to the Board of Fire Commissioners in July 2016 to fill an unexpired term and has served continuously since that time. Commissioner Burch is co-owner and Business Manager of Neurotherapy Northwest. He became a volunteer member of the Department’s CERT Team in 2008 and later served as a team leader/member of Fire Corps.

“I admire the Spokane Valley Fire Department’s focus on continuous improvement. Our dedication to the community, fiscal responsibility and the fact that we are one of the few accredited fire departments in the State of Washington all make SVFD great!”

Note: As the individual appointed to this non-partisan position, Commissioner Burch was elected by voters in November 2017.

Commissioner Mike Kester

Board Member Since: January 1, 2020
Current six year term expires: December 31, 2025

Commissioner Mike Kester was elected to the Board of Fire Commissioners in November, 2019.

Commissioner Kester grew up in the Spokane area and has a deep appreciation for just how fortunate we all are to live in this beautiful area. He believes that being involved in this community is not something to take lightly.

His background includes joining the United States Coast Guard (U.S.C.G) after high school and serving on a port firefighting boat doing search and rescue in Portland, Oregon.  After the Coast Guard, he attended the University of Montana earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Resource Management.  He then went on to work for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, serving in their Parks Department.

Spokane was the next step in his career. He  went to work for the Burlington Santa Fe Railroad and the next 22 years was spent as a conductor moving freight. Commissioner Kester  retired in 2010 after a workplace injury and now,  he and his wife enjoy making meals for World War II Veterans, helping out at the YMCA ,and providing meals for those in need.

“In the 25 years of being a resident of the Spokane Valley the professionalism of the SVFD has inspired me to take an active part in bettering our community. We have one of the best fire departments in the whole Pacific Northwest. My wife and I have 3 children and 5 grandchildren. I have dedicated my life to keeping them safe.  I want to apply that dedication to our community.  Keeping us all safe is a goal we should all aspire to in one way or another. Communication within the department and with the public is, and always will be one of my primary goals.”

Commissioner John Guarisco

Board Member since: August 27, 2018
Current six year term expires: December 31, 2027

Commissioner Guarisco was appointed to the Board of Fire Commissioners in August 2018 to fill an unexpired term and has served continuously since that time. Commissioner Guarisco founded Marjoni Marketing in 2004 and in 2010 merged with MDI marketing. He then pursued Real Estate, earning his license and now, currently serves the greater Spokane area as a licensed Realtor. He has long been active in the community and has won numerous awards during his career including the Volunteer of the Year (2014) and the Community Caring Award (2010) from the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce.  He is a member of the Greater Spokane Valley Rotary Club and holds an AA degree from Spokane Falls Community College.

Note: As the individual appointed to this non-partisan position, Commissioner Guarisco was elected by voters in November 2019.

Commissioner Bill Anderson

Board Member since: January 1, 2000
Current six year term expires: December 31, 2023

Commissioner Anderson served our community as a Spokane Valley Fire Department firefighter for 29 years. Throughout his career, he worked as a firefighter, dispatcher and engineer before he was promoted and became an officer. He was Station Captain of Millwood Station 2 when he retired in 1999. During his years as firefighter, he was an active leader of Spokane Valley Firefighters Local 876 and served as a trustee on the Washington State Council of Firefighters for 25 years.

“It’s important to me that we continue the good service we’ve always given the people. We’ve accomplished a lot and are pulling in the same direction to get better. I’m very proud of the Spokane Valley Fire Department.”

Commissioner Brian Asmus

Board Member Since: June 14, 2021
Current term expires: 

Commissioner Brian Asmus was appointed to the Spokane Valley Fire Department Board of Fire Commissioners in 2021.

Commissioner Asmus is the former Liberty Lake Police Chief and current Director of Safety and Security at Central Valley School District (CVSD).

“Brian Asmus brings extensive Public Safety leadership experience, and a long history of being actively engaged in his community to his new role as a SVFD Commissioner,” said SVFD Fire Chief, Bryan Collins. “During his time as a Police Chief, Brian interacted with SVFD firefighters and administrators on a regular basis, making him very familiar with our structure, standing within our communities, as well as with many of our current SVFD board members and personnel. Brian’s experience working and collaborating on regional issues aligns nicely with SVFD’s philosophy and will help us continue to be a catalyst for local and regional excellence and innovation.”

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