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Scott Terrell, Skagit Valley Herald

Preparing for Wildfire in Skagit County

Wildfire risk is increasing in western Washington due to environmental and human factors:

  • Increasing air temperature     

  • Decreasing summer rain   

  • Earlier snowmelt

  • Residential encroachment into forested areas with high wildfire risk

It all adds up to a higher potential for ignition, and drier fuels and forests that are more receptive to ignition and spread of wildfire.

 Skagit Conservation District has been working with landowners on wildfire preparedness since 2005. In 2019, SCD decided to partner with the Whatcom Conservation District to merge the Wildfire Risk Reduction Program and staff. While each county has their unique settings and circumstances, wildfire doesn't recognize political boundaries. The current regional Wildfire Risk Reduction Program provides a more efficient and collaborative approach to addressing wildfire risk across both counties.  We have the knowledge and resources to help homeowners and communities understand their wildfire risk and feel empowered to take preparedness actions.

 
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Homeowner/Resident Assistance

Homeowners play an essential role in whether or not their home will survive in a wildfire. Simple actions taken ahead of time can reduce the risk of damage or destruction to a home, provide a better chance for fire fighters to defend the home, and reduce the risk of spreading fire to neighbors.

 

To find out how you can improve the safety of your property from wildfire, sign up for a FREE and customized on-site assessment. With this assessment you will also receive helpful resources and a report that defines which actions to take to improve your property’s resilience from wildfire.

Neighborhood Assistance

Addressing wildfire risk to your property doesn’t have to be done alone. Working together with your neighbors or community allows for a team effort to address your shared risk. One of the best methods for addressing neighborhood-scale wildfire risk is through the NFPA Firewise USA® Program. This program provides a framework for communities to learn about and address their wildfire risk together. Some benefits include access to wildfire professionals as well as access to grant and project funding opportunities.

A great first step for a neighborhood to begin addressing wildfire concerns is to schedule

a neighborhood presentation on wildfire risk and preparedness.

You can also contact our Wildfire Risk Reduction Program Coordinator directly by emailing jcoe@whatcomcd.org

To see which communities in Skagit County are currently participating in the Firewise USA® Program, check out this map

Please visit our Resources section to access more information including guidance on evacuation, communication, and more.

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Partnerships

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Scott Terrell, Skagit Valley Herald

Collaboration and partnerships are at the root of building community resilience to wildfire. Whether its agencies and organizations working together or neighbors working with other neighbors; wildfire adaptation is most successful when approached collaboratively. Everyone has a role to play in wildfire adaptation.  Illustrated below are a number of the different components and actions associated with fire adaptation. So far, Skagit CD has focused their program efforts on the components outlined in orange.

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If you’d like to partner with the Skagit Conservation District on wildfire adaptation, please email our Wildfire Risk Reduction Program Coordinator at jcoe@whatcomcd.org

 

Emily Hirsch

Resources 

Residents

Livestock Owners

Neighborhoods

Our Wildfire Partners

Understanding Wildfire Risk

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Upcoming events

May 10th, 2022 Wildfire Awareness Month Proclamation

May 17th, 2022 Skagit & Whatcom Land Trust Partner with SCD for a Wildfire Information Series