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Dry Conditions, Smoke Increase 911 Calls in South King County

The danger of urban wildfires remains high as warm, dry temperatures persist.

With wildland fires in Eastern Washington, a large urban fire in Shelton and increased winds in the Puget Sound area, a large number of citizens are calling 911 to report the smell of fire just after noon on Friday, according to Dave Nelson, spokesperson for the King County Fire Chiefs Association.

The Valley Communications Center in Kent has also has seen an increase in calls for smoke investigations with no visual sign of smoke or fire, just the smell.

Most of King County is currently under a Red Flag Warning and will remain under warning until 4 p.m. on Saturday.

The King County Fire Chiefs Association is asking residents to be on alert for brush fires over the next week as forecasters call for above average temperatures.

“This is continuing the risk of a possible urban wildland fire in the region,” said Nelson. “We have seen fires along the roadway and a larger fire in Bellevue on Tuesday. We haven’t been this dry in decades.”

“People should also remember that throwing of lit objects from a car is illegal,” said Nelson. “Many brush fires along the freeways are cause by humans.”

Renton has also seen its fair share of small brush fires near roadways, including one in mid-September off N.E. 3rd Street that threatened the Lexington apartment complex.

The King County Fire Chiefs Association urgest all residents to have an evacuation plan in place if an urban fire threatens your home. 

Now is the time to determine your family’s ability to respond:

  • Are roads leading to your property clearly marked? 
  • Are roads wide enough to allow firefighting equipment to get through? 
  • Is your home number visible from the roadside? 

Evacuation may be the only way to protect your family in an urban wildfire. Know where to go and what to bring with you. You should plan several escape routes in case roads are blocked by fire.

To learn how you can protect your home and community go to: www.firewise.org.

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