Dry brush fires in Seattle

Firefighters putting out a brush fire

The long stretch of warm, dry summer days is keeping firefighters busy with dry-weather related fires. Since July 1, the Seattle Fire Department has responded to 65 brush and bark-related fires.

Due the the dry conditions, the King County Fire Marshal issued a fire safety burn ban on June 24, 2021 on all outdoor burning except for barbecues and small recreational fires in established fire pits at approved campgrounds or private property with the owner’s permission. 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 brush and other dry weather-related fires around your home:

  • Remove dead plants or bushes as soon as possible and clear roof and gutters of pine needles and leaves.
  • Remove flammable wood piles, propane tanks away from homes and garage structures.
  • Remove long grass, weeds or anything that can burn from around homes. This includes limbs that touch buildings or hang near the roof.
  • For homes adjacent to large areas of greenbelt, consider defensible space between home and landscaping
  • Homes built on slopes should mitigate dead dry vegetation below and around structure.
  • Either keep lawn hydrated or cut it short if it’s brown.

Outside of the home:

  • Do not light fireworks – besides being illegal, they cause serious injuries and fires.
  • Dispose of smoking materials in proper receptacles and douse in water, not in planters, beauty bark or out of your vehicle window.  
  • 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.

If you experience a fire, please call 9-1-1 immediately after you are in a safe location away from the fire.