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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 takes only a few days of summer heat 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 and 3 acres near Echo Lake. Fortunately, these 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 trainings and free neighborhood consultation sessions in unincorporated King County to help neighbors identify risk factors and develop Firewise Community Fire Safety Plans. By planning ahead communities can help prevent the loss of lives, property and resources to wildfire.

To learn more about how wildfire can affect your community or schedule a free neighborhood fire and emergency planning workshop, 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.

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, and read our illustrated article in the August 2012 "Fire and Ice" issue of B&B magazine (external link).

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.


Wildfire Risk Assessments

Washington Department of Natural Resources has provided 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 communities.

Community fire planning and Firewise in King County are funded in part by Federal funds allocated to counties under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000.

Firewise Communities/ USA

Firewise 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.

Related information

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

Related agencies

News and announcements

September 16, 2013
External article, The Bellingham Hearald
Northwest Communities, including Sudden Valley, perpare 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

Jul. 26, 2013
Fire Marshal calls for burn ban in King County
- Current burn ban status

May 18, 2013
Washington Department of Natural Resources
External article, Wildfire prevention tips for this Memorial Day weekend

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

Aug. 16, 2012
External article, Goldmark asks for public's help due to extremely high wildfire potential

Aug. 15, 2012
External article, Seattle Times
Red Flag warning issued for Seattle; second in 10 years

July 2, 2010
External article, Seattle Times
Lush spring growth turns quickly into fuel in time for Fourth of July Fireworks

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