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Northwest Firefighters Urge Homeowners To Prep Their Place Up For Summer

Anna King
Northwest News Network
Friends sip margaritas and help dig for jewels and gold after a fire destroyed a brand new home near Chelan, Washington, in 2015.

The Northwest saw several red flag warnings and fast-burning fires over the long holiday weekend. And in the last several years, regional firefighters say they are seeing bigger fires that threaten more homes.

That’s partly because of where homes are being built. According to Washington DNR, the Evergreen state has more homes being built into wildland areas than even California or Oregon.

Tod Kreutz leads several fire crews in southeast Washington. He said in vast, more remote areas firefighters often have to triage the homes they work to save.

“If you’ve got to spend all your time on one home, where you could spend that same amount of time to protect 4 to 5 homes -- you’re going to choose those 4 to 5 homes,” Kreutz said.

Kreutz said some key ways to help firefighters protect your home include keeping any vegetation by the home low and watered, make a wide driveway for fire equipment or install a metal roof.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.