Regional News

Don’t Forget Fire Safety This Holiday Weekend


May 24, 2019

With Washington’s forests drying out quickly, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz is asking residents to use caution to prevent wildland fires over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend and throughout the summer.

“The holiday weekend and warm weather means more people will be outside enjoying our public lands,” Franz said. “This year, however, we are preparing for another record-setting fire season and want people to be aware of their surroundings while working or playing outdoors.”

Commissioner Franz says, “We are expecting it to get much worse now that Washington is under a state of emergency due to a huge shortage of water in our region. Much of our state is seeing significant drought conditions, which creates a very dry landscape.”

This year, DNR has responded to 345 fire calls, almost 50% on the west side of the state. Snowpack is also lower than average, and with the warmer temperatures this month, the snow is melting faster and earlier.

Safety tips for preventing wildfires (http://www.dnr.wa.gov/WildfirePrevention)

Here are some steps to ensure a fire-safe holiday weekend: 

  • Make sure all off-road vehicles have a properly functioning catalytic converter or approved spark arrester.
  • Only build campfires when and where authorized, and put them completely out.
  • Dispose of lit smoking materials appropriately.
  • Remember that discharging fireworks or use of incendiary ammunition or exploding targets is illegal on public lands.

 

Prepare your home

For those who decide to stay home and avoid the crowds over the three-day weekend, now is a good time to prepare for wildfire. Help reduce wildland fire hazards around the home and property by clearing excess debris and eliminating dense or overgrown vegetation around the outside of the home. For tips to prevent wildfire damage to homes, go to www.firewise.org.

Stay connected during wildfire season

 

Anyone who spots a wildfire should call 911 as soon as possible to report it.

 


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