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King County's Top 5 Wildfire Safety Tips for Rural Homeowners

The recent blaze on Mt. Si serves as a reminder that forest fires are possible on both sides of the Cascades.

Patch file photo
Patch file photo
With wildfire season in full swing across much of the west, officials are reminding rural homeowners that free prevention advice is available through King County.

County residents who would like help identifying and mitigating fire dangers may call 206-296-8042 or email linda.vane@kingcounty.gov for free technical assistance.

In-depth training is also available through the 2013 Northwest Citizen Corps Expo, set for Aug. 10 at the Northwest Fire Training Academy in North Bend. Registration is $25 for the all-day workshop.

Last month's wildfire on Mt. Si has served as a reminder that forest fires can occur on both sides of the Cascades. Last summer, wildfires burned near Issaquah, Enumclaw, Fall City and Auburn, King County says.

Here are the county's top five fire prevention tips for homeowners in rural areas (more available in this brochure):

  1. Use fire-resistant construction materials such as Class-A asphalt shingles, metal and concrete products for your roof. 
  2. Keep blowing embers out of your house. Cover exterior vents with fine (1/8-inch or smaller) mesh.
  3. Remove all dead plant material from around your home. Rake up dry leaves (under decks and porches too!) and move firewood away from the house. Keep your roof and gutters clear of flammable debris.
  4. Take out "ladder fuels," vegtation between grass and treetops that can carry fire between foliage and structures. Prune branches that overhang or touch the house.
  5. Use fire-resistant plants in the garden. Read our list of fire-resistant plants for the Puget Sound Basin (PDF), or search our illustrated online Native Plant Guide for fire-resistant plants.

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