GOLD BAR — As summer approaches, the risk of wildfires is on the rise.
Knowledge can go a long way toward preventing tragedy.
Snohomish County Fire District 26 in Gold Bar is hosting an open house Wednesday to provide tips to folks about how to protect their property.
Fire Chief Eric Andrews said the open house is the first step toward sharing information as wildfire season approaches.
The open house also is sponsored by Snohomish County Emergency Management, the U.S. Forest Service and the state Department of Natural Resources.
A draft of the Community Wildlife Protection Plan will be unveiled at the meeting. The plan, according to the event flier, outlines steps “to become more resilient to the growing wildfire threat.”
Andrews said they’ll outline everything from wildfire resistant roofs and plants to evacuation routes and fire warnings.
What’s called the “Wildland Urban Interface” is another focus of the plan. It shows landscapes and homes at higher risks for wildfire destruction.
Event organizers will present maps of wildfire hazards, teach strategies for making a wildfire-resistant landscape and explain the resources available to locals.
Jason Biermann, Snohomish County’s emergency management director, said some tips to residents include clearing properties of combustible materials, such as dry leaves in gutters, and establishing evacuation routes.
Biermann said it’s important to go over the maps so “we can make (locals) aware of the areas we’ve identified as high risk,” and because residents help provide local knowledge.
A 2016 wildfire in Proctor Creek increased local interest in wildfire prevention and containment, Andrews said. The fire covered an estimated 289 acres and caused officials to issue evacuation notices, yet they were later recalled and no homes were damaged.
There will be future meetings, but none are scheduled.
The open house will be from 5-7 p.m. at Station 54, 42013 U.S. 2.