Some people think wildfire is only a concern for Central and Eastern Washington and not the wetter western half of the state. Wildfires however have historically burned on the west side and do happen regularly during our dry summers and early falls when conditions are right. Climate change models and climate researchers are also predicting more frequent and larger wildfires in Western Washington. Recently KING 5 News did a reporting series on wildfire in western Washington that featured a community in Redmond that KCD has helped become more wildfire resilient. Checkout the video and learn how local communities and homeowners are taking action to reduce their risk.
If your home and property are at risk of damage from a wildfire, what should you do around your home to improve your wildfire resiliency?
Some high impact practices you can do around any home or other structure to improve wildfire resiliency include:
- Keep your roof and gutters clear of leaves, twigs, needles and other flammable materials.
- Move any flammable material away from the exterior of your home or other structures, including firewood piles, construction material and anything that can burn. And remove anything stored under decks or porches.
- Replace flammable mulch material adjacent to your home or other structures with non-flammable material, such as rock.
- Keep vegetation outside of the 5-foot area around your home or other structures, or replace highly flammable plants with fire resistant plants.
King Conservation District staff are available to help as well by providing a wildfire risk assessment to evaluate your home’s and/or your community’s wildfire risk and give recommendations for improving wildfire resiliency. KCD’s recommendations are based on each site’s unique conditions, goals and ability to complete work.
Learn more about KCD’s wildfire resiliency services or contact KCD Wildfire and Forest Resiliency Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org to request a risk assessment.
Matt Axe joins King Conservation District as the new Wildfire and Forest Resiliency Coordinator. Matt served 10 years in the U.S. Army before returning to school at Green River College where he began pursuing a career in forest management. At Green River College Matt acquired on the ground skills and experience in forestry while completing applied associate degrees in Wildfire, Forestry, Parks, and Recreation Management and a bachelor’s degree in forest management. Having lived with his family and worked in in the forests of rural king county and near Spokane most recently, Matt is very aware of the challenges that rural communities and Washington’s forests face due to climate change and increasing wildfire risks.
Matt is passionate about protecting our forests, helping the diverse communities that live in Wildland Urban Interface zones, and empowering private landowners to take actions that make their communities and homes more wildfire resilient. In collaboration with our partners at King County, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, and local fire districts, Matt will be providing wildfire preparedness education, wildfire risk assessment and planning services to individual landowners, communities, and working with communities to implement wildfire risk reduction projects.