WA Cattlemen's Association
Are You Ready for Fire Season?
Updated: Jul 2, 2020
By Jim Hinton
This seems to be the year of “what ifs”. Our lives are being controlled more than usual, by factors we have no control of. However, we must remain prepared.
Due to weather patterns and other circumstances, predictions are telling us that this year’s fire season could be a real dandy. Taking that into consideration with all of the social distancing, face coverings and other restrictions that may affect the ability to fight a wildfire, we as landowners need to prepare for the worst and hope for the best!
Although it may be a bit late in the season, it is never too late to think of being “Firewise.” Firewise is the long-used method of preparing your homestead for fire by:
1. Removing all debris, burnable materials, shrubbery and trees that would provide fuel for a fire around your home, buildings and property.
2. Consider your roofing and siding materials and deciding if it will aid in the prevention of catching on fire.
Touch base with your neighbors and make a written agreement with them “that in case of fire they are allowed on your property and vice versa.
Have a sufficient supply of water available to fight an oncoming fire.
Look into and purchase Barricade, a fantastic fire retardant that has saved many structures in the past. The product is easily applicable with a garden hose. Google “Barricade Fire Gel”, there are a number of interesting and factual videos regarding the product. If you are a Farm Bureau member you can purchase it through Farm Bureau at a discount or it is available through Amazon.
After contacting our local conservation district a list of sites was sent that would be of help to anyone interested in pursuing other information. They are as follows:
There's a DNR contact in Olympia who can field interest from around the state: Ashley Blazina, Community Wildfire Preparedness/Firewise Coordinator (360) 902-1300, email@example.com.
It is recommended that folks reach out directly to their local conservation district for assistance. The conservation districts are the ones that can help with wildfire risk assessments on people's property. Here's a link to the conservation districts that you can include: https://scc.wa.gov/conservation-district-map/
There are resources specific to evacuating livestock during a wildfire. Here's a link to one that California put together that's pretty good: https://www.readyforwildfire.org/prepare-for-wildfire/go-evacuation-guide/animal-evacuation/
This one on horses could be of interest also website: https://whatcomcd.org/sites/default/files/wildfire/WildfirePrepforHorses.pdf
The Natural Resource Committee of WCA along with the Washington Farm Bureau are in the process of working together with Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz and Legislators to promote practices that would benefit our members, when dealing with wildfires. If you have other questions feel free to contact NRC chairman, Jim Hinton at 360-391-9695 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hopefully this information will be of assistance in keeping you safe through this season and seasons that follow.