Kennewick Fire: Precautions you should take before wildfire season begins

KENNEWICK, Wash. - In the past two weeks, multiple fires have popped up across Benton and Franklin counties. Many have only burned less than half an acre, but it's an indicator of wildfire season heading our way.

Firefighters want to remind homeowners of the precautions they can take to protect themselves and homes. First, defensible space.

"Any arborvitae or any trees that are going up and touching their house or going over the top of the roof, we'd like for them to cut that back because that allows us to have a chance to save the house,"
said Kennewick Fire Capt. Brian Ellis. 

Trees must be at least five feet away from your home. Also, get rid of any dry brush near your home. 

Additionally, have an evacuation plan not only if your home is on fire but if you have to evacuate your area due to a wildfire.

"What kind of medications do I need for an extended period of time that I can't get them," Ellis said. "Water, food, clothing. If I have animals, how am I going to support them? So just taking a few minutes to begin thinking about that."

According to Firewise USA, burning pieces of vegetation that can be carried more than a mile through the wind can cause spot fires and ignite homes, debris and other things. 

In Benton County, an app was created a few years ago to alert residents of a potential evacuation or natural disaster. It's called Code Red, and is ran by Benton County Emergency Management.

The app will send a message to a person's phone, similar to an Amber Alert. Ellis encourages everyone to sign up.

If you would like to sign up, click here.

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