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As hot, dry weather grips region, King County has landscaping tips to reduce wildfire risk


With July’s hot and dry summertime conditions expected to continue, now is the perfect time to learn how King County’s Forestry Program can help rural homeowners develop plans for simple landscaping and maintenance work to help reduce the risk of wildfire.


Wildfire is a natural part of the Pacific Northwest’s fire_safety_graphic_webenvironment. Just a few days of dry weather in King County can dry out vegetation enough to increase the risk of wildfire.

The combination of dry vegetation and strong east winds through the Cascade foothills makes many communities in east King County susceptible to wildfire. Wind-borne embers and creeping ground fires are most often what spread wildfires from the forests and fields to homes.

However, protection from wildfire can be built right into the home landscape with a combination of pathways, hardened surfaces, flame resistant mulches and carefully chosen plants. Strategic placement of vegetation and a little pruning can go a long way toward reducing the risk to homes during a wildfire while yielding a beautiful, even lush, landscape.  

Free technical assistance is available for King County residents to help them identify and mitigate wildfire risk. 

Forestry Program employees offer free assistance to rural forested area residents to assess their risk from wildfire and develop and implement community fire safety plans.

Even simple steps such as clearing dead leaves and needles from roofs, raking leaves, and storing flammable materials at least 30 feet from structures can go a long way to prevent blowing embers from igniting homes.

Modeled after the national Firewise USA program, such plans are the first step in preventing the loss of lives, property and resources to wildfire while encouraging forest stewardship among landowners. 

For more information, contact the King County Forestry Program at 206-477-4800 or visit

The Water and Land Resources Division works to protect the health and integrity of King County’s natural resources. Employees work to reduce flood risks, monitor water quality and restore wildlife habitat; manage, and reduce the harmful impacts from stormwater, noxious weeds and hazardous waste; create sustainable forestry and agriculture; and protect open space to support all of these efforts.

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King County Forestry Program
King County Water and Land Resources Division


Doug Williams, 206-477-4543