King County libraries in Issaquah and Sammamish are hosting free seminars in early December when homeowners can learn landscaping tips to help minimize the risk of wildfire.
For gardeners, winter is often the time to think ahead to spring and next year’s garden enhancements. Homeowners can incorporate wildfire resistance into garden design and maintenance with tips from Firewise USA and King County.
Linda Vane, wildfire safety educator with King County's Forestry Program, will share tips for a beautiful garden that dramatically reduces your home's risk from wildfire at two free workshops - Landscaping with wildfire safety in mind: Steps to creating a fire-wise home,
Tuesday, Dec. 5
10 W. Sunset Way, Issaquah
Thursday, Dec. 7
825 228th Ave. SE, Sammamish
Wildfire is a natural part of the Pacific Northwest’s environment. Just a few days of dry weather in King County can dry out vegetation enough to increase the risk of wildfire.
The combination of dry vegetation and strong east winds through the Cascade foothills makes many communities in east King County susceptible to wildfire. Wind-borne embers and creeping ground fires are most often what spread wildfires from the forests and fields to homes.
However, protection from wildfire can be built right into the home landscape with a combination of pathways, hardened surfaces, flame resistant mulches and carefully chosen plants. Strategic placement of vegetation and a little pruning can go a long way toward reducing the risk to homes during a wildfire while yielding a beautiful, even lush, landscape.
Even simple steps such as clearing dead leaves and needles from roofs, raking leaves, and storing flammable materials at least 30 feet from structures can go a long way to prevent blowing embers from igniting homes.
Forestry Program employees offer free assistance to rural forested area residents to assess their risk from wildfire and develop and implement community fire safety plans.
Modeled after the national Firewise USA program, such plans are the first step in preventing the loss of lives, property and resources to wildfire while encouraging forest stewardship among landowners.
Free technical assistance for identifying and mitigating wildfire risk is available for King County residents. Contact the Forestry Program at 206-477-4800 or visit kingcounty.gov/forestry.