June 25, 2015– As the weather heats up the Seattle Fire Department has responded to an increase in warm weather-related fires involving dry grass, bark and shrubs. Since June 1, 2015 Seattle Firefighters have responded to 115 bark fires and 53 brush fires. One example occurred this week on Tuesday June 24, 2015 when improperly discarded smoking materials caused a small brush fire which extended to a deck of a West Seattle apartment complex located in the 9200 block of 17th Av SW. No one was injured but the dry bushes and grass contributed to the fire quickly spreading to an occupied building. Seattle residents can help reduce the chance of such outdoor fires by following a few simple steps:
- Make sure cigarettes have cooled completely before throwing them out. Carelessly discarded cigarettes can easily start a fire in dry conditions.
- Remove long grass, weeds or anything that can burn from around your home. This includes limbs that touch your home or hang near the roof.
- Remove dead plants or bushes as soon as possible.
- Clear roof and gutters of needles and leaves.
Stay safe by following these summer safety tips:
- Keep a three-foot kid and pet safety zone around grills, fire pits and campfires.
- Only use your grill outside on a non-combustible surface and at least 10 feet away from siding, deck rails and open doors or windows.
- Keep an eye on your grill, fire pit or patio torches – never leave them unattended.
- When finished, turn off both the grill and the propane cylinder. Place coals in a metal can with a lid once they have cooled.
- Attend public fireworks displays – fireworks are illegal in the City of Seattle without a permit from the Seattle Fire Department.