The Pierce County Council issued a proclamation earlier this month announcing May as Wildfire Awareness Month.
The proclamation underscores how wildfire risk and severity in Western Washington has increased, along with the need to deliver meaningful action to mitigate the risks.
“Over the past few years, wildfires have begun to show up in our ‘backyards,’” stated a news release from the Pierce Conservation District. “With our summers getting drier, hotter and smokier, we’re all looking for ways to protect ourselves from wildfire risks.”
The release mentioned the 2020 Sumner Grade Fire, which traveled along state Route 410 between Sumner and Bonney Lake, ultimately destroying seven homes and 16 other structures, while burning 759 acres. Over 7,000 residents were evacuated.
“Communities can act now to help mitigate wildfire risk,” stated the release.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources, the Pierce Conservation District, and local fire departments have invited Pierce County residents to participate in Wildfire Ready Neighbors, a free program that offers tailored action plans and home wildfire risk assessments.
“We know that wildfire is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore,” stated Nicholas Cusick, the climate resiliency program manager with the Pierce Conservation District. “We’re living this now, and communities want to learn about what actions they can take to be prepared for this summer’s wildfire season and beyond. We’re encouraged to see the county council recognize these dangers our communities are facing and how increasing awareness about the resources and strategies available to residents will prepare them better for wildfire. Wildfire Ready Neighbors is a huge step in the right direction and we want as many people as possible to take advantage of this program.”
Residents interested in participating in Wildfire Ready Neighbors can sign up online at wildfireready.com.
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