NEWS RELEASE: May is Wildfire Awareness Month -- King County's Department of Natural Resources and Parks
4/28/2016 11:35 AM
Department of Natural Resources and Parks
Date: April 28, 2016
Contact: Doug Williams – 206-477-4543
May is ‘Wildfire Awareness Month’ in King County
Free workshop, May 4, will provide rural homeowners with effective strategies for reducing their wildfire risk
Wildfire is a natural part of the Pacific Northwest’s environment, and plays an important role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. However, even a few days of dry weather in King County can dry out vegetation enough to increase the risk of wildfire.
May is Wildfire Awareness Month, and King County’s Forestry Program is working with area fire districts and state officials to raise awareness and promote actions that keep communities safe in the event of fire.
King County and the non-profit Save Habitat and Diversity of Wetlands (SHADOW) host a free wildfire and emergency preparedness workshop on Wednesday, May 4, near Renton, to teach the simple steps that rural residents can take to reduce the wildfire risk to homes and property.
The workshop will be held at the SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve, at 21656 184th Ave. SE, Renton. Visit shadowhabitat.org orkingcounty.gov/forestry for more information, or call the Forestry Program at 206-477-4842.
The combination of an abundance of dry vegetation and strong east winds through the Cascade foothills makes many communities in east King County susceptible to wildfire.
Winds can carry burning embers more than a mile, and as more people build homes in the forest, more communities find themselves at risk from wildfire. Forest fires have occurred near North Bend, Snoqualmie, Fall City, Carnation, Cumberland, Enumclaw, and Black Diamond, among other foothills communities.
The County’s Forestry Program supports wildfire prevention by sharing simple steps that individuals and communities can take to reduce their risk from wildfire.
Steps such as clearing dead leaves and needles from roofs, raking leaves, and storing flammable materials at least 30 feet from structures can go a long way to prevent blowing embers from igniting homes.
Forestry Program employees offer free assistance to rural forested area residents to assess their risk from wildfire and develop and implement community fire safety plans.
Modeled after the national Firewise program, such plans are the first step in preventing the loss of lives, property and resources to wildfire while encouraging forest stewardship among landowners.
Free technical assistance for identifying and mitigating wildfire risk is available for King County residents. Contact the Forestry Program at 206-477-4842 or visit kingcounty.gov/forestry.
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