The only difference between adventure and disaster is preparedness.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Fire Safety Message from Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue

Kelso- Fire officials are asking the public to please be prepared, safe, and responsible with fireworks while celebrating the fourth of July for the wildfire season has begun early this year. Already this year over 313 wildfires have ignited across the State of Washington and more are to be expected. According to a recent Seattle Times article, this time last year there were less wildfires at 214 and in 2013 there were 169.

Fire Chief Dave LaFave and firefighters from Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue helped provide additional wildfire training to National Guard members last week in Yakima. This effort was in conjunction with the emergency proclamation by Governor Jay Inslee which will allow the Department of Natural resources (DNR) to dispatch additional Resources from the National Guard, if needed, to assist in suppression efforts. The Governor also urged people to reduce their firework use or celebrate another way without fireworks, according to the Seattle Times article.

The early fire season also affected this year's Cowlitz County burn ban for outdoor burning. The ban normally starts July 15th, but went into effect June 24th this year. Only recreational fires in approved three feet diameter metal, stone, or masonry lined fire pits are allowed.

According to the Washington State Fire Marshal's office there were 155 fireworks-related fires reported in the State last year that resulted in over $320,000. in property loss and 277 injuries, including 2 fatalities. According to the State Fire Marshal's office the legal discharge times of fireworks in Cowlitz County are from June 29th through July 5th from 9am to 11pm with the following exceptions: July4th 9am-midnight. Kalama has additional restrictions: July 4th 9am-11pm and July 5th 9am-9pm. Local and state officials are urging people to remember the increased fire danger and reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires. Follow these fireworks tips and make it a safe holiday:

Be prepared, be safe, be responsible:

* Read fireworks instructions before use
* Light fireworks on a hard and even surface and don't lean over them
* Stand at least 20 feet away from fireworks
* Have a bucket of water and a hose ready
*Soak used fireworks in water before disposing them in a metal garbage can if possible
*Obey local laws

More on fireworks statistics and safety tips can be found at

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