Become Firewise this fall

Creating defensible space

With the cooler temperatures and cloudy days of fall, it can be tempting to forget about wildfire for another year.

Many of the wildfires this season have been extinguished and the immediate threat has been relieved.

Instead of packing it in, now is a great opportunity to reduce your risk of wildfire for next season.

“Many of us here in Stevens County live in environments with high risk of wildfire,” said Firewise Coordinator and wildland firefighter, Zach Beer, adding that when he talks to landowners about their level of wildfire threat, “It’s not if it burns, but when it burns.”

In light of these facts, it is very important to use time this fall to create a fire safe space around home before a wildland fire affects you.

Beer said the first defense against wildland wildfire is to create a fire-safe landscape around the home. This defensive space is an area that can protect the home and provide a safety zone for firefighters.

It’s recommended to have been 30 and 100-feet of defensible space around the home.

“Being Firewise doesn’t mean you can’t landscape,” Beer pointed out. “You can create a defensible space and also beautify your property.”

That can be achieved by removing flammable vegetation and replacing it with fire-resistant plants, spacing the plants in the yard and clearing away dead leaves on the roofs and dry brush around the home.

“There is no better time to incorporate these new habits than while you’re already doing fall clean-up,” Beer pointed out.

The Stevens County Conservation District is offering free Firewise assessments to Stevens County homeowners.

“An assessment is a second set of eyes looking out for situations that may cause your home to be vulnerable during a wildland fire,” Beer said.

For more information, or to schedule an assessment, call Zach or Dana at 685-0937, extension 3, or visit the office at 232 Williams Lake Road in Colville.

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