Fire departments asking you to prepare for fire season now, clean up defensible space

It’s that time of year, when the temperatures go up, the fuels dry up and the fire risk begins to increase. With that fire agencies and first responders are asking you to begin preparing your homes and yards for fire threat.

“It’s not necessarily the wall of flames that comes through and burns the home down, usually its the ember shower out ahead of a fire,” said Fire District 8 Division Chief Marty Long.

He says defensible space should include the first five feet around your home being free of anything that can burn. Move any woodpiles resting against your house, dead debris, garbage cans, wood fences etc. away. Notably, he says clearing your gutters of any combustible material is also critical. Removing wood gables and such is as well.

“From five feet to 30 feet, its okay to have trees and stuff in that area, make sure they are clean and green and remove all the dead vegetation from under them,” he said, advising also to make sure there is space between trees, so they don’t potentially ignite each other.

Now is the time to start preparing for a season which is all but guaranteed to start.

The Fire District is holding a public meeting on Thursday night at the St. Stevens Episcopal Church from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in partnership with local agencies to answer any questions and give demonstrations on protecting your home from wildfire.

Another service they offer is coming out to your property and advising you on how best to protect yourself.

Other things to freshen up on prior to any big fires is evacuation proceedings.

“Ready means there is a potential risk in your area, keep informed and follow the news, set would be you are potentially going to be evacuated, get your goods together, and get any critical medications for pets and family members together, and go, you need to be ready to leave and find a place to stay away from danger,” said Jamie McIntyre, with the City of Spokane Fire Dept.

Additional advice includes signing yourself up for Alert Spokane.

“Your cell phone isn’t automatically signed up for that, your land lines are, but your cell phones aren’t,” he said.

More information on that can be found by clicking here.

Additional tips and tricks can be found here on the National Fire Protection Association website.

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