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Ready, Set, Go! The wildfire action plan

June 2, 2011


Despite the wet weather this spring, summer is going to get here eventually.  Fire season is an annual reality in eastern Washington, requiring firefighters and residents to be on heightened alert for the threat of wildfire throughout the summer and fall.

Each year, wildfires consume hundreds of homes in the Wildland/Urban Interface (WUI). Studies show that as many as 80% of the homes lost to wildfires could have been saved if home-owners had followed a few simple fire-safe practices. In addition, wildfire-related deaths occur because people wait until too late to leave their home and evacuate the area.

Fire departments take every precaution to help protect you and your property from wildfire. However, the reality is that in a major wildfire, there will simply not be enough fire engines or firefighters to defend every home. Successfully preparing for a wildfire requires you to take personal responsibility for protecting yourself, your family and your property.

Ready, Set, Go is an effort to furnish you the tips and tools you need to prepare and be successful.  Fire is, and always has been, a natural occurrence in the inland Northwest.  Our grassy meadows, brush-covered hills, canyons and forests burned periodically long before we built homes there. Wildfires, fueled by a build-up of dry vegetation and driven by seasonal hot, dry winds, are extremely dangerous and impossible to control. However, many residents have built their homes and landscaped without fully understanding the impact a fire could have on them, and few have adequately prepared their families for a quick evacuation.

It’s not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’ the next major wildfire will occur.  That’s why the most important person in protecting your life and property is not the firefighter, but you. Through advance planning and preparation, we can all be ready for wildfire. We hope you find the information at helpful in creating heightened awareness and a more fire-safe environment for you and your family.


From → Preparedness

  1. Thank you for your response. I checked out the linked website and they don’t seem to have any information for Connecticut and New England, not to say that wildfires don’t happen in this area. I am going to contact my local fire department soon because I have questions about fireworks safety. We have a big festival in town and I want to spread the message about staying safe. Do you know anything about fires caused my transformers? The fire that I was in they believe that there was a correlation between the transformer sparking and the fire, except the fire report was inconclusive. I am debating about contacting an attorney because I don’t have real evidence yet, just some potential witnesses. Thank you for help and I will talk to you soon.

  2. Thank you for this article. The word needs to get out about about fire prevention. Are wildfires likely in the New England area or mainly elsewhere? I never really thought about it because I have never heard any news about wildfires in my area.

    • I’ve not fought any fires in New England but I’ve been in classes with firefighters from your area. My understanding is that your primary wildland fuel type is hardwood litter with a brush understory. This presents a different fire from what we typically fight here in the inland Northwest (predominantly Lodgepole and Ponderosa Pine with grass and brush understory). I recommend you start by contacting your local fire department regarding wildland fire prevention. You can also contact your state forestry agency or the US Forest Service in your area. You can also check on the internet to see what wildfire preparation programs are available in your area.

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