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Urban brush fire prevention

Brush, bark and dry grass fires keep firefighters busy during the summer months. Unfortunately, the Seattle Fire Department has responded to over 12 brush and bark-related fires within the past two days. In more rural parts of King County, the high number of brush fires has led the King County Fire Marshal to issue a burn ban on all outdoor recreational fires effective immediately.

The Seattle Fire Department strongly encourages community members to avoid outdoor burning and to take extra precautions with smoking materials during this time.

How to prevent dry weather-related fires:

  • Do not light fireworks.
  • Dispose of smoking materials in proper receptacles and douse in water, not in planters, beauty bark or out of your vehicle window. Make sure proper cigarette disposal canisters are available in areas where smoking is allowed. 
  • Be sure chains and other metal parts are not dragging from your vehicle as they can throw sparks. Check your tire pressure – driving on an exposed wheel rim can cause sparks.
  • Be careful driving through or parking on dry grass as hot exhaust pipes can lead to fires.
  • Be aware that sparks from lawn mowers can start fires – avoid mowing when it is dry or windy.
  • Remove long grass, weeds or anything that can burn from around homes. This includes limbs that touch buildings or hang near the roof.
  • Remove dead plants or bushes as soon as possible and clear roof and gutters of pine needles and leaves.
  • Move trash, recycling, and yard waste bins away from the home.
  • Avoid down power lines.

Be aware of health hazards associated with wild fires and poor air quality by visiting Public Health – Seattle & King County’s website and Puget Sound Clean Air Agency’s website.