Aerial footage shows wildfire damage in Prosser area
PROSSER, Wash. — Deputies on Wednesday flew over the Prosser area to survey damage from several wildfires that destroyed part of a train bridge and damaged at least one home on Labor Day.
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office along with many other agencies responded to Monday’s fires. Several homes were threatened by the fires and at least one person’s back porch was destroyed, but most structures near the flames largely remained untouched.
According to Sheriff Jerry Hatcher, part of the reason why crews were able to save the home was because of a “green barrier” that had already been there. A green barrier is defensible space you create between a building on your property and the dry grass, trees, shrubs, or any flammable area that surrounds it.
Hatcher says to prevent losing property, homeowners must be proactive when living rural areas.
“Especially if you boarder vegetation that’s turns dry, we want to make sure there is a green barrier wherever we can. We talk to our fire professionals and they tell us to keep shrubs away from the house, anything that’s flammable,” said Hatcher.
The sheriff’s office knows when large fires start, they must act quickly to clear the roads and evacuate people from the area. While at the same time using their cruisers to relay information about the fire to the firefighters and the public.
Another way the sheriff’s office protects homes is by being proactive themselves. Before and after a large fire, the department uses planes to survey and document the area.
“Going up there seeing that, we’re able to convey what we see to the fire departments and they can strategically look at the area. Where is the fuel, where resources are, where are we likely to have large fires, those type of things. With this information we can strategically plan and act accordingly,” said Hatcher.
Wildfires can be unpredictable, so if you’ve seen fires pop up in your area, Washington state office of insurance recommends homeowner insurance. Click here for more details.