Vashon-Maury Island residents can learn how to minimize the risks of wildfire to homes and property at a seminar from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 11 at the Land Trust Building featuring professional foresters and representatives from Vashon Island Fire and Rescue.
Professional foresters from the King County Washington Department of Natural Resources and the King Conservation District will be joined by Vashon Island Fire and Rescue.
At the event, they will show a presentation that looks at the current and long-term probability of wildfire, and how Vashon-Maury Island landowners can reduce their risk to fire through proper planning and landscape management.
Wildfire is a natural part of the Pacific Northwest’s environment. Just a few days of dry weather can dry out vegetation enough to increase the risk of wildfire.
Large fires in eastern Washington are becoming commonplace, while the combination of warmer and dryer summertime weather is increasing the wildfire risk in western Washington as well.
Protection from a wildfire can be built right into the landscape surrounding a home with a combination of pathways, hardened surfaces, flame-resistant mulches and carefully chosen plants. Strategic placement of vegetation and a little pruning can go a long way toward reducing the risk to homes during a wildfire while yielding a beautiful, even lush, landscape.
Even simple steps can go a long way to prevent blowing fire embers from igniting homes.
Those include clearing dead leaves and needles from roofs, raking leaves, and storing flammable materials at least 30 feet from structures.
Modeled after the national Firewise USA program, such plans are the first step in preventing the loss of lives, property and resources to wildfire while encouraging forest stewardship among landowners.
For questions about forestry services in King County, please contact Wendy Sammarco, firstname.lastname@example.org, and the King County Forestry Program.