So what can be done to minimize the risk?
For Potlatch-owned properties, wildfires are relatively rare – occurring on less than 1/10 of 1 percent of our properties each year – and when they occur, they tend to be very small. That said, we believe that quality land management minimizes the risk of fires and also reduces the loss when a fire occurs.
Skillful management includes ensuring good road access to all areas of a property, along with taking an aggressive approach to putting out fires.
Here are four key risk-reducing tips for timber and recreational property owners and managers:
- Prescribed fires remove undergrowth, brush, and ground litter from a forest, eliminating potential fuel for wildfires.
- Other fuel reducing strategies include thinning and pruning trees, clearing brush around structures and creating firebreaks.
- When camping, take care when using and fueling lanterns, stoves, and heaters. Make sure lighting and heating devices are cool before refueling. Avoid spilling flammable liquids.
- Contact 911, your local fire department, or the park service if you notice an unattended or out-of-control fire.