At-risk residents admit they're not prepared for wildfire

A wise person once said, "The best way to get something done is to begin."
     Or in the case of many Northwest homeowners, to finish.
     That's the upshot of our new PEMCO Poll, which reveals that 39% of those who live in wildfire-prone areas admit they haven't started or finished the most important task to protect their homes.
     It's not that they don't know what to do, because 58% of Washington and Oregon residents know the single most important task is to clear a buffer zone around the home by removing brush, dead limbs, tall grasses, and weeds.
     It's part of Firewise principles and creating what's called "defensible space."
     Last summer, Washington suffered through the Carlton Complex fire, which torched homes and more than a quarter-million acres in the Methow Valley, Pateros, and surrounding areas. Oregon fires burned even more land, including nearly 400,000 acres in the Buzzard Complex fire alone.
     Our mild winter has raised the public's awareness and concern even more. Our poll reveals 87% of Northwest residents are worried about the possibility of wildfire this summer, and 21% say it's "extremely likely" or "very likely" that wildfires or brush fires will directly impact them.
     So, back to that 39% who haven't taken the most important precaution to protect their homes. Awareness of the danger isn't enough. Those folks need to act.
     Do it now. Don't get burned! 

by  Jon Osterberg

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