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Forestry services

Water and Land Resources

Find comprehensive services and information related to forestry in King County, Washington such as forester assistane for landowners, tax incentives to protect forest resources, grants, forest fire information, forestry education resources and the Rural Forest Commission..

To offer a suggestion or report an error on the King County forestry services and information website, please contact Fred Bentler, webmaster.

Sustainable Forestry in King County, Washington

Community Wildfire Safety PlanningHouse with fire resistant landscaping with 'Firewise'    

Prepare for wildfire

Even in temperate western Washington it can take only a few sunny days for forests to dry out enough to catch fire. And, in windy conditions wildfires can get out of control quickly. Wildfires burn every year in east King County. In 2013 wildfires consumed 18 acres on Mt. Si. Fortunately, this and other fires were controlled before homes were destroyed.

Before wildfire strikes, homeowners can help protect lives and property by creating a fire-adapted space around structures. We offer group trainings and free personal consultation sessions in unincorporated King County to help residents identify risk factors and reduce wildfire threats. To learn more about Firewise or to schedule a free Firewise site visit contact Linda Vane.

Top 5 Tips for maintaining a wildfire safety zone in the 30 feet around your home

  1. Use fire-resistant construction materials such as Class-A asphalt shingles, metal and concrete products for your roof. 
  2. Keep blowing embers out of your house. Cover exterior vents with fine (1/8-inch or smaller) mesh.
  3. Remove all dead plant material from around your home. Rake up dry leaves (under decks and porches too!) and move firewood away from the house. Keep your roof and gutters clear of flammable debris.
  4. Take out "ladder fuels," vegtation between grass and treetops that can carry fire between foliage and structures. Prune branches that overhang or touch the house.
  5. Use fire-resistant plants in the garden. Read our list of fire-resistant plants for the Puget Sound Basin (PDF), or search our illustrated online Native Plant Guide for fire-resistant plants.
    Read our illustrated article in the August 2012 "Fire and Ice" issue of B&B magazine (external link).

Outside the 30-foot zone, manage woodlands for forest health. Fire safe forests can also be healthy forests. Forests with sufficient growing space for trees are not only less susceptible to fire, properly managed forests are healthier and more drought tolerant that forests where trees are crowded together with many dead lower limbs or dry brush.

Learn more tips for creating beautiful and fire-safe landscapes from our brochure, Fire Safety Tips for Rural Homeowners.

Ciscoe On Fire VideoSee Ciscoe on Fire!

Watch host Ciscoe Morris fight wildfire with flowers in this 20-minute video. Tips on colorful plant choices for fire-resistant landscapes.

 

Safe travels

Did you know that most wildfires, 80%, are caused by people? While enjoying the out-of-doors you can keep safe from wildfire with these tips.

  • Leave fireworks at home.
  • If you drive off-road make sure you have an approved spark-arrester or properly functioning catalytic converter.
  • Build campfires only where authorized and make sure fires are completely out when you leave. Smoldering embers are a common cause of wildfires.

King County's areas of highest wildfire risk

Washington Department of Natural Resources performed wildfire risk assessments for six areas in King County that were judged to be at high risk for wildfire. These areas include neighborhoods in the greater North Bend, Black Diamond/Green River Gorge, Cumberland, Kanaskat/Selleck, Lake Retreat/Rock Creek, and Snoqualmie Pass areas.

Firewise Communities/ USA

Firewise Communities/USA is a national program that encourages local solutions for wildfire safety.  It is co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, US Department of the Interior, and the National Association of State Foresters.

This service page is provided by the King County Forestry Program.
King County's Firewise work is funded in part by Federal funds allocated to counties under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000.

Related information

  1. FirewiseFire safety tips for rural homeowners 
    (Acrobat pdf format)

Related agencies

News and announcements

August 11, 2014
External article, Seattle Times
DNR bans all fires, including campfires, in Washington

August 11, 2014
External article, The Olympian
DNR: Crews fighting three fires near Tenino

August 11, 2014
External article, The Olympian
Fire crews continue to battle 2 wildfires near Rochester, Tenino

August 9, 2014
External article, Kitsap Sun
Washington's wet side not immune from wildfire risk


August 9, 2014
External article, Kitsap Sun
Protecting your home from wildfire risk

July 2014
External article, Union of Concerned Scientists
Playing with Fire: How Climate Change and Development Patterns are Contributing to Soaring Costs of Western Wildfires

July 14, 2014
King County Fire Marshal calls for countywide burn ban

July 11, 2014
External article, Washington Dept. of Natural Resources
DNR expands burn ban to western Washington

Hot and dry conditions make for high fire danger

May 21, 2014
Leave fireworks, exploding targets at home this weekend (pdf)

May 21, 2014
External article, Washington Dept. of Natural Resources

Have fun and stay safe this Memorial Day Weekend

May 15, 2014
Fire Council earns recognition for decade-long wildfire prevention

May 1, 2014
May is wildfire awareness month in King County, time to take steps to safegurard lives, property

April 28, 2014
External article, Washington Dept. of Natural Resources
Wildfire Awareness Month starts May 1

February 6, 2014
External article, Washington Dept. of Natural Resources
Washington State second in nation with number of Firewise communities

September 16, 2013
External article, The Bellingham Herald

Northwest Communities, including Sudden Valley, prepare for risk of wildfires

July 29, 2013
External article, Sammamish-Issaquah Patch
DNR: Mt. Si Fire Caused by Humans, 75 Percent Contained

July 28, 2013
External article, Living Snoqualmie
Mt. Si Fire's 18 acres Nearly Contained

July 27, 2013, updated July 28
External article, KING 5 News
Mt. Si Fire Inches Closer to Homes

July 26, 2013
External article, Sammamish-Issaquah Patch
Brush Fire on EB90 and SR18

Sept. 19, 2012
External article, Press-Enterprise
Wildfires have worsened in past decade, analysis shows

Aug. 22, 2008
External article, Seattle Times
Wildfires: Western Washington is at risk, too

Archived forestry news