The Cedar Ponds area and River King Estates and surrounding community located off Ben Howard Road has been identified as a “Extreme Fire Hazard” and “High-Risk Hazard” respectively for wildfire by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. The assessments were established in 2006, but with the expectation of a dryer and warmer Spring/Summer this year, the risk assessment could be even higher.

With only one way in and out, narrow roads, steep hills, and no real safe zones for retreat, the communities are a big concern for emergency fire response planners. Preventing fires and fire spread by following the ” Wildfire Risk Reduction-Action items to Improve your Home’s Survivability” (below) are best practices and are proven to save some homes from certain destruction by fire. Residence should also develop and practice an emergency action plan for wildfire in their community. Although these two communities have been identified as the highest risk areas in our fire district, other neighborhoods are also at risk. We have cluster communities such as Skyline Estates of Mann Road and Sultan Estates off Woods Lake Road and North Sultan off basin road should be practicing Wildfire Risk Reduction practices to help mitigate the risk.

Wildfire Risk Reduction

Action Items to Improve Your Home’s Survivability

  • Emergency Responder Access — Ensure your home and neighborhood has clearly marked street names and numbers. Driveways should be at least 12 feet wide with vertical clearance of 15 feet, for emergency vehicle access.
  • Remove Flammable Materials — From underneath decks and porches. Remove dead vegetation and debris from under decks/porches and between deck board joints.
  • Remove — leaves, pine needles, and other flammable materials from the roof, gutters, and on or under the deck to help prevent embers from igniting your home.
  • Screen areas below decks and porches with 1/8″ wire mesh to help prevent materials from accumulating underneath.
  • Cover exterior attic and soffit vents with 1/8″ wire mesh to help prevent sparks from entering your home.
  • Enclose eaves to help prevent ember entry.
  • Inspect shingles or roof titles.
  • Replace missing shingles or tiles.
  • Cover ends of tiles with bird stops or cement to help prevent ember penetration during a wildfire.
outdoor burning allowed graphic
firefighters fighting a fire in a forest
Graphic with tips on how to create defensible space around your building