Tim Darland, Chief High Prairie Fire Department and Tom McMackin
The High Prairie Fire District has responded to 93 incidents to date this year. Included since the last High Prairian were two structure fires in KCFPD 4 (Lyle) and four wildland fires — two in District 14 (High Prairie) and two in District 4 (Lyle). I am proud to say that our volunteers from High Prairie and Lyle were quick to answer the page-out and worked efficiently and effectively to manage the flames and protect property along with any threat of spread to the wildlands around each of these fires.
The department has resumed our regular meetings under Covid 19 protocols (masks / social distance norms) to minimize risk. Masks / social distancing / washing hands / avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands / being careful when out of your home environments are simple things we all can do to mitigate some of the risks of exposure to this virus. Common sense and hygiene are keys to good health anyway!
We have added two new members to our crew. Ms. Sarah Hancock joins us as an experienced and compassionate EMT! She will truly be an asset in our efforts to provide our best services to all in KCFPD 14. Samuel Holman has also come to volunteer for our community and to learn about the fire service. Thank You!
If you have any questions or interest in seeing what KCFPD 14 is about… Please don’t hesitate to contact any of our volunteers or come to an activity or drill night. Our regular schedule starts at 7 PM every 1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesday of any month. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 509-365-2786 for more information!
The burn ban for Klickitat County Zone 2 (including High Prairie) was lifted on 15 October 2020. The cooler weather and some rain have lowered the risk of wildfire; but remember that even with a little moisture the dried-out vegetation is highly combustible, and wind can push a fire along quickly. We still need to pay attention and be careful. If something happens and a problem develops, call 911 ASAP to get help on the way!
Please follow the outdoor burning requirements listed below. In the event the Fire Department gets called to an out-of-control burn pile, firefighters will be assessing the scene to ensure all outdoor burning requirements have been met. You may be responsible to pay costs if your burn pile escapes or has to be extinguished by the Fire Department.
Outdoor Burning Requirements:
1. Fire size: no larger than 10 foot diameter, burn only one pile at a time.
2. Minimum five (5) gallons water, shovel, fire extinguisher and/or charged garden hose.
3. Fire is built on bare soil.
4. Debris that can be burned: natural wood products, non-treated lumber scraps, trimmings, clippings. and natural vegetation. (Citations are issued due to this violation in Klickitat Co.)
5. Ditch and fence line burning can be done in 10’ X 10’ sections at a time with adequate water to put out area burned. The next 10’ X 10’ section can then be lit. Caution: Must have containment lines such as roads, driveways, plowed fields, or hand trails down to mineral soil.
6. Burn Barrels are not approved. WAC 173-425. (Citations are issued due to this violation in Klickitat Co.)
7. In the event of air inversions, it is recommended by the Department of Ecology to monitor media coverage for our area. If an inversion occurs, stop burning until DOE has lifted restrictions.
(For more information, contact DOE 1-800-406-5322. Website: http://www.ecy.wa.gov)
8. Agriculture burns must be approved by DOE by calling 1-509-575-2490.
9. Must be a minimum of 50 feet from any structure.
10. Fire must be attended to at all times.
This time of year we’re more concerned about indoor fires, too. The usual advice applies:
Check your smoke alarms. Make sure they have good (preferably new) batteries, and test the alarms frequently. Smoke alarms can save your life.
If you have a fireplace or wood stove, check your chimney for creosote buildup and have it cleaned if necessary. If you heat with wood it’s a good idea to have the chimney cleaned before each heating season and periodically during the months of heavy use.
If you do have a chimney fire, call 911 and leave the house. We’ll come and make sure it’s completely out and hasn’t spread into your attic.
Please feel free to email or call me should you have any questions. Darland007@gmail.com or 509-209-4381