Local News

Brush fires in Eastern Washington a reminder that fire season is coming

Several fires have burned in Eastern Washington in recent weeks, with one over the weekend in Stevens County. 

But Spring just arrived. Could it already be fire season? Not quite.

"Right now the risk is extremely low, primarily because our fuel is still green, everything has a high moisture content," said Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer.  

But, fire season isn't far off. And now is the time to start thinking about it.

"Even though it's probably the furthest thing from people's minds right now, in terms of wildfire safety and risk, it should probably be the right time for us," said Schaeffer.

It could be important since early predictions say this could be an intense year.

"The predictions thus far that I've seen has been that we're going to see increased activity in Eastern Washington for fire season this year, based on the models and based on none of the variables that we have," Schaeffer said.

Schaeffer says now is the time to start thinking about your defensible space. That's when you remove vegetation from around your home and thin out some trees nearby. You can learn more about that here.

"Preparing now, planting now, developing that space now before we really get into a growing season," said Schaeffer.

It's also the time to think about your belongings. What would you need to save in case of a fire? What do you need extra of?

"One of the constant things that comes up are medicines. Do you have enough medicine to continue four or five days away from your primary residence," said Schaeffer.

And there's one thing that people regularly forget: a cell phone charger.

"They remember their phones and their drivers license, their passports, their mortgage paperwork, but they forget their cell phone chargers," said Schaeffer.

And think about your evacuation plan now. Get the whole family on board so nothing is a surprise this summer.

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