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Tips for Wildfire Prevention

As we edge closer to the end of this beautiful summer, it's essential to remember that our picturesque surroundings still come with the heightened risk of wildfires. In recent years, wildfires have become an increasingly significant concern in the Pacific Northwest, including Sammamish. The safety of our homes, families, and natural environment is of utmost importance, and we all play a role in preventing wildfires.

In response to the hot and dry weather, jurisdictions across King County have joined together to issue a Stage 2 Complete Burn Ban. This means all outdoor fires (including recreational campfires, pellet fireplaces, cooking fires, and ceremonial fires) are prohibited.

Rest assured, our maintenance team, along with our landscaping forestry department, is working tirelessly to remove any dead or dangerous trees from our greenbelts to eliminate potential fire hazards.

With that in mind, we want to share some essential tips and guidelines to help keep our community safe from the threat of wildfires:

Create a Defensible Space:

Clearing the area around your home is crucial to reduce the risk of wildfires spreading. Maintain a defensible space by removing dead vegetation, leaves, and other flammable materials within at least 30 feet of your house.

Trim and Prune Trees:

Regularly trim branches and limbs of trees near your home. Keep trees at least 10 feet away from chimneys and stovepipes, and ensure they don't overhang the roof. Dead branches should be removed to prevent them from becoming fuel for fires.

Choose Fire-Resistant Plants:

Opt for fire-resistant vegetation in your landscaping. Some examples include rockrose, ice plants, and a variety of succulents. These plants are less likely to ignite and can help create a fire-safe zone around your property.

Maintain Your Lawn:

Keep your lawn well-watered and mowed to a height of 3 inches or less. Shorter grass is less likely to carry fire, reducing the risk to your home.

Install Spark Arresters:

Install spark arresters on chimneys and stovepipes to prevent embers from escaping and potentially igniting nearby flammable materials.

Store Firewood and Flammable Materials Safely:

Keep firewood, propane tanks, and other flammable materials at least 30 feet away from structures and 10 feet away from property lines. Store them in a fire-resistant structure if possible.

Be Cautious with Outdoor Equipment:

Use equipment like lawnmowers, chainsaws, and grills with care. Ensure they are in good working condition and not emitting sparks that could ignite dry grass or leaves.

Educate Your Family:

Teach your family about fire safety, especially the younger members. Ensure everyone knows how to use firefighting tools like hoses, fire extinguishers, and shovels.

Create an Emergency Plan:

Prepare an evacuation plan and share it with your family. Designate a meeting point and ensure everyone knows how to contact each other in case of separation during an evacuation.

Stay Informed:

Monitor local news and emergency services for wildfire updates. Sign up for emergency alerts and notifications to stay informed about

potential threats.

Stay up to date with local agencies by following them on Twitter:

ALERT King County is a voluntary emergency notification system. Through ALERT King County, you can be sent critical emergency information. Click here to sign up for emergency alerts.

The NFPA is a fantastic resource for fire prevention and preparedness tips. Their website also has an interactive wildfire map to keep you informed on where active fires are located across the country. You can find all of that and more here.

For more helpful information, click HERE to check out our Resident Emergency Resources.

Community Effort:

Finally, remember that wildfire prevention is a collective effort. Encourage your neighbors to follow these guidelines and foster a community that prioritizes safety.

By following these wildfire prevention tips and working together as a community, we can help protect our beautiful community from the threat of wildfires. Let's all do our part to keep our homes, families, and environment safe and thriving.

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