Fire agencies in King County and throughout the Puget Sound region have responded to a large number of brush fires this week.
With the continued hot, dry and windy weather, the King County Fire Chiefs Association is urging the public to immediately take steps to prevent brush fires from starting and spreading.
Additionally, the King County Fire Marshal’s Office has implemented a Stage 2 burn ban on outdoor recreational burning. This ban goes into effect immediately. More information about the ban and areas impacted is available at kingcounty.gov.
“Firefighters across the county have been incredibly busy responding to brush fires in our region, which are a threat to life, safety and property. We need the public’s help in preventing additional fires from occurring,” said Chief Matt Morris, president of the King County Fire Chiefs Association.
In addition to following the burn ban and refraining from outdoor burning, the public should follow these tips to prevent brush fires:
• Do not light fireworks.
• Dispose of smoking materials in proper receptacles and douse in water, not in planters, beauty bark or out of your vehicle window. Make sure proper cigarette disposal canisters are available in areas where smoking is allowed.
• Be sure chains and other metal parts aren’t dragging from your vehicle because they can throw sparks. Check your tire pressure – driving on an exposed wheel rim can cause sparks.
• Be careful driving through or parking on dry grass because hot exhaust pipes can lead to fires.
• Be aware that sparks from lawn mowers can start fires, so avoid mowing when it’s dry or windy. Keep your yard green if you can and when it’s safe to mow, mow it down to the lowest level that your lawn mower will allow.
• Remove long grass, weeds or anything that can burn from around homes. This includes limbs that touch buildings or hang near the roof.
• Remove dead plants or bushes as soon as possible and clear rooftops and gutters of pine needles and leaves.
• Move trash, recycling and yard waste bins away from the home.
• Avoid downed power lines.
Dispatch centers in the area are also reporting an increase in calls related to smoke haze in the area from wildfires. Only call 911 for emergencies. Be aware of health hazards associated with poor air quality by visiting Public Health – Seattle & King County’s website and Puget Sound Clean Air Agency’s website.