Public Service Announcement
Fire Marshal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Local Kittitas County and State agencies participates in national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day

Kittitas County, WA - 05/04/2017 - Local Kittitas County and State agencies participates in national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day
Local communities join effort to reduce wildfire risk across the country on May 6, 2017

May 3rd, 2017 – Residents living in high-risk wildfire areas who want to take action steps to increase their safety but are unsure about how to start can now find the information, and the inspiration, they need to organize and accomplish wildfire risk reduction projects in their community. Hidden Valley Fire Adapted Community is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and state and local agencies for the fourth annual Wildfire Community Preparedness Day event on May 6, 2017 from 9am to 1pm at the Teanaway Swauk Grange Hall, in Cle Elum WA. This free event helps communities prepare for and work together to reduce their risk of wildfire damage.
Preparedness Day is a call to action that gives people of all ages a chance to plan and participate in a risk reduction or wildfire preparedness activity that makes their community a safer place to live.
“Continued drought, hotter temperatures and woody fuels are major contributors to the increased wildfire activity we are experiencing in Washington”, says Carolyn Berglund, Kittitas Fire District 7 and Hidden Valley Fire Adapted Community Spark Plug.  “That’s why Hidden Valley FAC has organized our Wildfire Community Preparedness Day Event and are committed to working together with NFPA, local and state agencies to make our community safer from the threat of wildfire. We believe Preparedness Day is a great way to raise awareness of this important issue. ” 
Hidden Valley Fire Adapted Community will be hosting and sponsoring a free event that includes educational workshops, during Preparedness Day to promote wildfire awareness and safety. The activities include:

  • Home Ignition Zone Assessment – by Kittitas County Fire & Rescue 7
  • Home Treatments & Ignition Demonstration – by Kittitas Valley Fire & Rescue
  • Firefighter’s Rapid Home Assessment – DNR
  • Kids Coloring Contest (Winner must be present to win a giant teddy bear!) & Ice Cream Social – Kittitas County Fire & Rescue 7
  • Smokey Bear – Courtesy of DNR
Through these educational workshops are free to the public and people can learn more about the importance of wildfire preparedness and planning, and the power of prevention.
Projects undertaken on Preparedness Day can range from a short time commitment up to an entire day and can be undertaken by individuals or groups. Below are actions residents can take to reduce the risk of home and property becoming fuel for a wildfire:
  • Rake and remove pine needles and dry leaves within a minimum of 3 to 5 feet of a home’s foundation. As time permits – continue up to a 30-foot distance around the home. Dispose of collected debris in appropriate trash receptacles.
  • Collect downed tree limbs and broken branches and take them to a disposal site. 
  • Distribute wildfire safety information, like the free Firewise Toolkit, to neighbors or staff a table at a grocery or hardware store (other high-traffic locations work, too) and distribute free Firewise and emergency preparedness materials that can be ordered from the Firewise catalog or from READY.gov
  • Join forces with neighbors and pool your resources to pay for a chipper service to remove slash.
  • Help an elderly relative or neighbor enter emergency numbers and the names of close relatives into their cell phones; and in large font post their phone number and street address above their landline so it can easily be seen when providing information to an emergency dispatcher.Find additional project ideas and learn more about the national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day event on May 6 by visiting www.wildfireprepday.org.

Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at http://co.kittitas.wa.us

###

Contact: Josh Hink, Kittitas County Fire Marshal
509-962-7000
josh.hink@co.kittitas.wa.us
Or
Rose Shriner, Kittitas County Conservation District
509-925-3352 ext 202
rose-shriner@conservewa.net