State lands commissioner asks for help from public amid high wildfire risk

August 16, 2012

NEW — 10:30 p.m. Aug. 16, 2012

State Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark asked for help from the public Thursday to prevent wildfires, as the risk rises on both sides of the Cascades.

“The next three days are going to be very dangerous in terms of the potential for wildfire,” he said in a statement. “That is true in Western Washington as well as Eastern Washington. It is everyone’s responsibility to be safe and not take any risks.”

The request came as the National Weather Service maintains a regional excessive heat warning for communities along Puget Sound and in the Cascade foothills. Temperatures could approach 100 degrees in Issaquah on Thursday.

The weekend forecast includes a significant risk of lightning-sparked wildfires.

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Issaquah donation site established for residents impacted by Taylor Bridge Fire

August 15, 2012

NEW — 10:15 a.m. Aug. 15, 2012

The public can donate items to help Cle Elum residents displayed by the Taylor Bridge Fire at a drop-off site in Issaquah.

Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce leaders established a drop-off site at Hilton Garden Inn Issaquah, 1800 N.W. Gilman Blvd. Organizers requested non-perishable food and water, clothing and blankets, toiletries and items for infants, such as diapers and formula, and pet supplies.

Citizens can also donate cash to the relief effort.

The chamber also established drop-off sites in Ellensburg and Yakima.

The wildfire stretches for 17 miles and, so far, burned more than 28,000 acres. The fire is 10 percent contained, and more than 800 firefighters continue to battle the blaze.
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Eastside Fire & Rescue urges residents to prevent urban wildfires

August 14, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. Aug. 14, 2012

The risk of wildfire is not limited to communities east of the Cascades.

In recent weeks, Eastside Fire & Rescue and other nearby fire departments responded to small brush fires along highways and other roads, neighborhood greenbelts and parks.

Protecting a home from urban brush fires is the homeowner’s responsibility.

Homeowners can take several safety precautions to create a defensible space around a residence. EFR reminds residents to consider topography, nearby vegetation and a home’s fire resistance.

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King County joins regional burn ban as fire risk increases

July 24, 2012

King County joined a regional burn ban July 17, after the county fire marshal joined a similar moratorium in Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston counties.

The ban came as forecasts call for continued dry conditions and the summer fire risk increases. The ban is in place until Sept. 1.

The moratorium applies to all outdoor burning except for small recreational fires in established fire pits at approved campgrounds or on private property with the owner’s permission.

Under the ban, fires must be built in a metal or concrete fire pit, and not be used as debris disposal. Fires must not grow larger than 3 feet in diameter.

Fires must be located in a clear spot free from any vegetation for at least 10 feet in a horizontal direction, including at least 25 feet from any structure. Fires should have a 20-foot vertical clearance from overhanging branches.

Fires must be attended at all times, and equipment capable of extinguishing the fire should be nearby as the fire burns.

The regional moratorium joins state Department of Natural Resources and Eastside Fire & Rescue bans.

King County joins regional burn ban as fire risk increases

July 17, 2012

NEW — 9:30 a.m. July 17, 2012

King County joined a regional burn ban Tuesday, after the county fire marshal joined a similar moratorium in Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston counties.

The ban came as forecasts call for continued dry conditions and the summer fire risk increases. The ban is in place until Sept. 1.

The moratorium applies to to all outdoor burning except for small recreational fires in established fire pits at approved camp grounds or on private property with the owner’s permission.

Under the ban, fires must be built in a metal or concrete fire pit, and not be used as debris disposal. Fires must not grow larger than 3 feet in diameter.

Fires must be located in a clear sport free from any vegetation for at least 10 feet in a horizontal direction, including at least 25 feet from any structure. Fires should have a 20-foot vertical clearance from overhanging branches.

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Eastside Fire & Rescue experiences booming Fourth due to fireworks incidents

July 10, 2012

Fireworks-related incidents kept Eastside Fire & Rescue crews busy before, on and after Independence Day.

The incidents included a torched barn and a vehicle lost to a fireworks-related blaze. The agency did not report any injuries related to the mishaps.

The action started July 2 in downtown Issaquah at Front Street South and Newport Way Southwest, as firefighters responded to a smoke bomb at 9:40 p.m.

Just after midnight on the holiday, firefighters started the Fourth of July by responding to a garbage can fire started by a sparkler bomb at Southeast Belvedere Way and 266th Way Southeast in Sammamish.

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Dump leftover Independence Day fireworks for safety

July 10, 2012

Fourth of July revelers should dump leftover fireworks, rather than storing the pyrotechnics inside a home or garage.

Curious children may decide to light old fireworks. Exposure to water or chemicals can cause the composition of fireworks to change, making them hazardous materials. Stray sparks could ignite fireworks and lead to disaster. Or the explosives could spontaneously combust.

Safety experts recommend disposing of small amounts of fireworks by removing the fuse, and then soaking the fireworks in water until saturated. The waterlogged fireworks should then be double-bagged in trash bags.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office offers additional tips for Independence Day revelers to toss leftover fireworks at www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/fireworks.htm.

Eastside Fire & Rescue experiences booming Fourth due to fireworks incidents

July 6, 2012

NEW — 10:15 a.m. July 6, 2012

Fireworks-related incidents kept Eastside Fire & Rescue crews busy before, on and after Independence Day.

The incidents included a torched barn and a vehicle lost to a fireworks-related blaze. The agency did not report any injuries related to the incidents.

The action started Monday in downtown Issaquah at Front Street South and Newport Way Southwest, as firefighters responded to a smoke bomb at 9:40 p.m.

Just after midnight on the holiday, Wednesday, firefighters started the Fourth of July by responding to a garbage can fire started by a sparkler bomb at Southeast Belvedere Way and 266th Way Southeast in Sammamish.

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Officials aim to avoid repeat of fireworks-related blazes

June 30, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 30, 2012

State fire officials reminded Independence Day revelers to practice fire safety in a bid to avoid a repeat of fireworks-related fires from 2011.

State Fire Marshal Charles M. Duffy said fireworks caused 264 fires last year, including 199 wildland and vegetation fires — or 75 percent of fireworks-related blazes. The fires resulted in $118,350 in losses.

Summer weather conditions make grasses and other vegetation dry and susceptible to fire. If revelers use fireworks in hot, windy conditions, a small fire can rapidly grow if grass or another fuel is present.

If a firework comes into contact with a vegetated area, use a hose or bucket of water and soak the area. Make sure no hot spot remains to rekindle later.

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Celebrate Independence Day in Issaquah with parade

June 26, 2012

Fireworks are banned in Issaquah and surrounding areas, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ways to celebrate Independence Day.

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