Fire Marshal asks residents not to set private recreational fires, danger high
Jon Dunaway, Clark County Fire Marshal
Vancouver, WA – Because of continued hot temperatures, dry conditions and the forecast for high winds throughout southwest Washington, Clark County is asking residents not to have recreational fires until further notice.
“The potential for a significant grass or brush fire is very high,” said Jon Dunaway, Clark County Fire Marshal. “We are especially concerned about residents living at the edge of urban areas, where houses are in areas of steep slopes and forest-like vegetation.”
If current conditions persist or worsen, fire officials could ban all recreational fires. Until then, “Everyone’s cooperation is greatly appreciated,” Dunaway said. “It could save lives.”
Meanwhile, the Fire Marshal recommends having an evacuation plan for your family. Identify and gather important items to take with you if you must evacuate on short notice. Make sure family members know where to meet if an evacuation occurs when they are away from home.
Also, give your home a fighting chance against a wildfire by creating a 30-foot clear area around your house. Here are some tips to create the defensible space:
• Remove tall, dry grasses and leaves that can be a path for fire.
• Remove leaves, needles and other debris from your roof and gutters.
• Remove “ladder fuels” which allow fire to move from lower vegetation to taller fuels. Provide separation between vegetation layers, such as brush and trees.
• Move firewood and combustible debris at least 30 feet away from your home.
• Remove dead and overhanging branches near the house.
• Prune brushes and shrubs to remove excess growth and dead material.