Preparing for Wildfire Season

by Keppie Keplinger, Public Information Officer, Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue

Despite having some of the coldest and wettest past six months in years in our area, here in Jefferson County we have already had several brush fires this year. It’s time for our annual reminder about getting prepared for wildfire season.

There are a number of things residents can do to protect their homes and property from wildfires. Here are some guidelines:

  • Clean your rain gutters of debris. Keep dead leaves, twigs, and fallen branches away from structures.
  • Trim tree branches that are near the ground, preventing a grass fire from becoming a forest fire.
  • Remove dead branches that extend over roofs and around chimneys.
  • Clear a ten-foot area around propane tanks and barbeques.
  • Regularly mow grass. On large parcels, clear dead grass and weeds at least 30 feet from structures (100 feet is better).
  • Stack firewood away and uphill from your home.
  • Stay aware of and follow local burn regulations.
  • Do not use weed burners during the summer months.
  • Use caution when mowing your lawn; sparks can ignite the grass. It’s best to mow before 10 a.m.—but not when it’s windy or exceptionally dry.
  • Washington state law (RCW 46.09.470) stipulates the need to use spark arresters on all portable gasoline-powered equipment including tractors, chainsaws, weed-eaters, and mowers.

The Northwest Interagency Coordination Center maintains a blog with official fire information. You can also follow them on Twitter at @nwccinfo.

If your neighborhood group would like a presentation to learn more about protecting property against wildfires and the training your local firefighters have specifically for fighting wildfires, please contact Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue at PLFR Website.