Law enforcement uses a 3, 2, 1 system for alerting residents of nearby fire. These notices will likely be delivered in person or via emergency alerts to your phone.
Level 1: Get ready. A wildfire is in your area. Monitor reports from emergency websites and local media, and consider planning and packing in case evacuation becomes necessary.
Level 2: Get set. Be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice. Pack necessary items into a vehicle. Evacuate anyone with medical or mobility issues, livestock or large animals to a safe place now. Remember the 6 Ps: A plan for the family, including a meeting place; personal items; prescriptions, photographs and other mementos; pets; important papers.
Level 3: Go. Residents are advised to leave. Drive safely and slowly with your lights on, and remain aware of your surroundings.
Prepare your home for wildfire
Here are 12 firewise tips from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. For more information contact Scott Chambers, the landowner assistance forester of Chelan and Douglas counties, at (509) 925-0929.
Rake leaves, dead limbs and twigs. Remove leaves and rubbish from under structures and remove vines from the walls of the home. Clear all flammable vegetation.
Thin a 15-foot space between tree crowns, and remove limbs within 15 feet of the ground.
Remove dead branches that extend over the roof.
Prune tree branches and shrubs within 15 feet of a stovepipe or chimney outlet.
Ask the power company to clear branches from powerlines.
Mow grass regularly.
Clear a 10-foot area around propane tanks and the barbecue. Place a screen over the grill — use nonflammable material with mesh no coarser than one-quarter inch.
Regularly dispose of newspapers and rubbish at an approved site. Follow local burning regulations.
Place stove, fireplace and grill ashes in a metal bucket, soak in water for two days; then bury the cold ashes in mineral soil.
Store gasoline, oily rags and other flammable materials in approved safety cans. Place cans in a safe location away from the base of buildings.
Stack firewood at least 100 feet away and uphill from your home. Clear combustible material within 20 feet.
Review your homeowner's insurance policy and also prepare/update a list of your home's contents.
Tips for unhealthy air quality
Public Health officials urge residents to prepare for smoky days and unhealthy air quality conditions. Wildfire smoke can cause serious health problems, especially for at risk people including: children, pregnant women, adults older than 65, and people with heart and lung diseases or respiratory illnesses, according to the Chelan-Douglas Health District.
The best way to protect your and your family’s health during a wildfire is to limit time spent outdoors. However, wildfire smoke can also work its way inside your home which is why indoor air filtration is extremely important. The following are steps you can take to improve the air quality inside your home:
• Keep windows and doors closed to avoid smoky air from coming inside
• Upgrade filters on existing HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning) systems to either a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter or a filter rated 11 or higher on the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) scale
• Avoid bringing outdoor air inside by setting air conditioner(s) to “recirculate”
• Avoid adding indoor air pollution and do not vacuum, use candles, or smoke
• Use a portable air cleaner with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter
Local agencies on Facebook:
Chelan County Fire District 1 (Wenatchee)
Chelan County Fire District 3 (Leavenworth)
Chelan County Fire District 5 (Manson)
Chelan County Fire District 6 (Monitor)
Chelan County Fire District 7 (Chelan)
Chelan County Fire District 9 (Lake Wenatchee)
(only two stations use social media)
Douglas County Fire District 2 (East Wenatchee)
Douglas County Fire District 4 (Orondo)