Currently, there are more than 15 active fires in Washington, mainly in Eastern Washington, but several in Western Washington including the Sumner Grade Fire that is causing level 3 evacuations in Bonney Lake.
Given excessive heat, low humidity, and sporadic wind, a small brush fire can quickly turn into a disaster in a few minutes.
“We have partially activated the city’s Emergency Operations Center to monitor wildfire smoke and excessive heat alerts from regional and state agencies,” said Snoqualmie Fire Chief Mark Correira. “Dry conditions and wind have increased the risk of a fast-moving wildland fire, even in the suburbs. It’s critical that residents take an accounting of any fire hazards on their property.”
King County has issued a Stage 2 Burn Ban prohibiting recreational fires, such as backyard fire pits and campfires using chopped firewood or charcoal. Manufactured portable outdoor devices are allowed, including barbeques and patio warmers that are used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Approved fuel devices - including charcoal, natural gas or propane gas – are also allowed.
Following are preventive actions residents can take to reduce the risk of brush fires.
Anything that can burn should be moved away from structures, such as long grass and weeds. Clear your gutters of pine needles, leaves and debris and move trash cans away from the house. A single spark lead to a dangerous and deadly fire.
Avoid mowing when it’s dry or windy as lawn mowers can create sparks. When it’s safe to mow, cut your grass as short as possible.
Check your tire pressure. Exposed wheel rims can throw sparks. It’s also important to make sure metal objects like chains aren’t dragging from your vehicle.
Throw away smoking materials in proper receptacles and douse them with water. Never toss items like cigarettes into planters, bark or outside your car window.
Many more suggestions can be found on the National Fire Protection Association website.
National Fire Protection Association
Washington Smoke blog
Public Health – Seattle & King County
Red Cross Wildfire Safety (multiple languages)
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City of Snoqualmie