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MAY IS WILDLAND FIRE AWARENESS MONTH
Join us on social media throughout the month of May, Wildland Fire Awareness Month, as we share safety tips about wildfire. Here in Spokane County, we have a wildfire risk. Do you remember the Hangman Hills Fire (1987), Fire Storm (1991), Valley View Fire (2008), Jim Hill Fire (2014), Yale and Wellesley Fires (2016), and the Malden Fire (2020)? As indicated by wildfirerisk.org, residents in our area are 65% more at risk of wildfire hazards than other communities in Washington State.
What can you do as a resident and as a community to mitigate the risk of wildfire? Here are some safety tips you can follow to address your wildfire risk.
- Clean up on and around your house. According to Washington Department of Natural Resources (WA DNR), “studies show that as many as 80 percent of homes lost to wildland fire may have been saved if brush around the homes were cleared and defensible space created around structures.”
- Build home defensible spaces around your house. Look at your house and yard in three concentric rings. The area closest to your house, 0-5’, is the Immediate Zone. This is the most important zone and the area to focus on immediately.
- If you burn, enjoy your recreational fires responsibly. Burning of garbage and the use of burn barrels is illegal throughout the entire state. In our area, burning yard debris is also not permitted. There are also times throughout the year when recreational fires are restricted as well. Visit the Spokane Clean Air Agency to learn more.
You and your neighbors can work together to build a safer community. Consider starting a FireWise Community. You can also sign up for a wildfire assessment through WA DNR’s program, Wildfire Ready Neighbors.
- Julie Happy