Defensible Spaces, a Key Concern
- Written by Deputy State Fire Marshal Lysandra Davis
In these extremely challenging weather conditions, State Fire Marshal Chuck Duffy is urging residents to inspect and maintain the defensible space around their homes. Defensible space can dramatically increase your home’s chances of surviving a disastrous wildfire, and can be accomplished through careful planning and vegetation management.
“Wildfire dangers have increased statewide, making the need for fire safety a key concern. Flying embers can destroy homes up to a mile ahead of a wildfire,” cautions, Duffy. For that reason, creating and maintaining a defensible space of 100 feet around your home is essential for limiting the amount of flammable vegetation and materials that may surround your home.
Two zones make up the required 100 feet of defensible space:
Zone 1—Extends 30 feet out from buildings, decks, and other structures. Clearing this area requires the greatest reduction in flammable vegetation, and consists of removing dead plants, grasses, weeds, and any pine needles or dry leaves that may be accumulated on your home’s roof, rain gutters, or around and under decks. Remove or prune flammable plants and shrubs that are located near windows. Keep trees trimmed and remove any dead tree limbs that hang over your roof, keeping branches 10 feet away from your chimney. Relocate exposed woodpiles outside of Zone 1 unless they are covered in a fire resistant material. And lastly, create a separation between trees, shrubs, and items that could catch fire, such as patio furniture, swing sets, etc.
Zone 2—Extends 30 to 100 feet from buildings and other structures. The fuel reduction zone in the remaining 70 feet (or to property line) will depend on the steepness of your property and the vegetation. Create horizontal and vertical spacing between plants to prevent fire from spreading. Large trees do not have to be cut down or removed as long as the plants beneath them are removed, eliminating a vertical “fire ladder.” An important reminder when clearing vegetation, use care when operating equipment such as lawnmowers, as one small spark may start a fire; a string trimmer is the safest choice.
To learn more about the Firewise principles included in this press release, visit the National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise website at www.firewise.org or the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Ready, Set, Go! website at wildlandfiresrsg.org.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal is a Bureau of the Washington State Patrol, providing fire and life safety services to the citizens of Washington State including inspections of state licensed facilities, plan review of school construction projects, licensing of fire sprinkler contractors and pyrotechnic operators, training Washington State’s firefighters, and collecting emergency response data.
Port of Chelan County Meeting Highlights 7-17-14
- Written by Kathleen Knappert, POCC
Port of Chelan County Board of Commissioners
Meeting of July 17, 2014
Lake Chelan Chamber Accelerator Space Plans
Lake Chelan Chamber President Lester Cooper and Chamber Director Mike Steele presented to the Port of Chelan County Commissioners their plans for the new Lake Chelan Chamber Visitors Center and six office spaces for lease. The Chamber is looking to occupy the offices on a temporary basis with new or growing businesses. “We hope to encourage and assist business owners when considering moving their business to Lake Chelan,” stated Chamber Director Mike Steele. The Chamber anticipates the new Visitors Center will be open in November.
Port supports Feasibility Study of Leavenworth Ice Rink
The Port of Chelan County Commission unanimously approved entering into an Interlocal Agreement with the City of Leavenworth to conduct a Feasibility and Investment Study for the Leavenworth Pavilion Ice Rink. The study will include cost estimates, identify ideal locations, and opportunity for revenues. The Commission approved up to $10,000 in addition to the City of Leavenworth and Leavenworth Ski Hill Heritage Foundation funds.
Peshastin Mill Site Phase 1 Site Assessment Results
RH2’s Randy Asplund presented the results of the Phase 1 Site Assessment of the Peshastin Mill property. The results determined there were no concerns found on the waterfront portion of the property. RH2’s recommendation was no further action on the waterfront portion. The upland portions of the property were deemed to need further investigation to confirm what was accomplished in past studies. Port of Chelan County Commissioners unanimously approved accepting the Phase 1 report and approved Task Authorization No. 520 in the amount of $41,914 for RH2 to continue with a Phase 2 Site Assessment for the upland portion of the Peshastin Mill property.
Cashmere Mill Site Woodwaste Removal Project Update
Phase 2 of the Cashmere Mill Site Woodwaste Removal Project began this week. A project funded through the Department of Ecology, remediation continues onsite with removal of waste materials. A dewatering system will remove water from clean materials, while materials potentially contaminated by petroleum from past use of the property are assessed for disposal. This is a closed construction site and Mill Road will be closed during construction. Pond levelers are also being installed at a beaver dam constructed on the site. To prevent the dam from flooding, the Port’s Beaver Management Plan calls for the installation of a pond leveler.
Confluence Technology Center Replacing Audio Visual Equipment
The Confluence Technology Center will be installing new Audio Visual Equipment that was damaged by a water leak late last year. The new equipment will be fully operational in early August. To make your video conference or meeting reservation, go online at www.ncwctc.com or call 509-661-3118.
Pangborn Memorial Airport (PMA)
Pangborn Airport Runway Extension Project Update
The Port of Chelan County Commissioners, acting as the Pangborn Memorial Airport
Governing Board, approved a Reimbursable Agreement with FAA to relocate
navigational aids associated with the Pangborn Airport Runway Extension Project.
The last purchase and sale agreement has been finalized and Pangborn Airport now
owns all the property necessary to complete the Runway Extension Project.
For more information, contact Trent Moyers, 509-884-2494.
Pangborn Airport Supports Aerial Attack on Fires
Pangborn Airport Director Trent Moyers stated the airport has been busy with many firefighting aircraft refueling. The variety of aircraft used to combat the fires around North Central Washington is an interesting site, and can be viewed on the Pangborn Memorial Airport Facebook Page. The firefighting aircraft operations have had no impact on commercial service provided by Alaska Airlines.
Square Dance at Buckner Orchard Aug 9
- Written by Herb Sargo
Chelan County PUD Seeking Your Great Ideas for the Next Generation of Public Power
- Written by Kimberlee Craig, CCPUD
PUD customers and community members join the conversation on Chelan County’s future
Wenatchee, Wa – In a little more than a month, Chelan County PUD customers and members of the community have provided more than 400 suggestions, attended more than 20 community meetings and talked to lots and lots of PUD employees about what their public utility could do in the future to make this area’s quality of life even better.
Jeff Smith, District Services managing director, Monday provided an update for commissioners on the approach being taken for gathering comments on possible future roles for the PUD in parks and recreation, water and wastewater, fiber and telecom, electrification, economic development and in reinvestment in the utility.
Teams of community members, customers, and PUD employees are reviewing each suggestion. The goal is to bring recommendations to PUD board members by early fall that could be included in the new strategic plan.
Nearly 200 people gathered at Wenatchee’s Numerica Performing Arts Center in June to help launch the discussion, Smith said. Since then:
- Six topic teams were created
- 20 community meetings have been held so far around the county in Leavenworth, Cashmere, Entiat, Peshastin, Chelan, Stehekin, Manson, Wenatchee and Malaga
- 400 comments have been received
- And, at least 250 individual conversations held with customer-owners about the possibilities
Smith said people are encouraged to submit comments by mid-August so the teams have time to discuss them in depth as they prepare recommendations for a community-wide town hall and then a proposed plan to go to commissioners in early fall.
To get involved, visit ourpublicpower.org, send comments and questions to or contact George Velazquez, strategic planning project manager, at (509) 661-4547to share your idea(s).
In other business Monday, commissioners:
- Heard how the quick response by PUD crews and coordination with firefighters has kept damage to Chelan County PUD power lines to a minimum so far as wildfires continue to burn in the region. Fire retardant paint and clearing brush away from poles protected transmission line in a four-mile stretch along Highway 97A from damage as the Mills Canyon fire burned past, said Kirk Hudson, Generation and Transmission managing director. Outages have been limited to those directly affected by the fire, said John Stoll, Customer Utilities managing director. Stoll said fire managers praised the coordination efforts led by the Distribution line operations group, adding that proactive measures have “helped us keep the lights on and our costs down.” PUD crews also are closely coordinating with firefighters battling the Chiwaukum Fire that runs west of the Stevens Pass Highway and south of Coles Corner. PUD transmission lines are on the east side of the highway, across from the fire, in steep terrain. “Our No. 1 goal is public and employee safety,” Hudson said. Crews are also watching and monitoring the destructive Carlton Complex fires, where flames have moved into Chelan County north of Chelan, but there is no immediate threat to power lines. Chelan PUD is poised to send two crews to help neighboring Okanogan PUD rebuild lines destroyed last week by the fires, Stoll said.
- Heard that donations made at PUD offices in Wenatchee, Chelan and Leavenworth for area Red Cross fire aid have topped $9,200.
- Held a public hearing on the proposed 2014 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) Progress Report that lists resources the District will use to meet load growth and state renewable energy requirements through 2019. No one commented. Commissioners then approved the 2014 IRP progress report.
- Set two special meetings for Wednesday, July 23. Commissioners will attend and observe a strategy partners meeting, as part of strategic planning, at 7:30 a.m. at Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee. At 11:30 a.m. they will attend the annual PUD retiree luncheon at Rocky Reach Dam.
Special Opportunity to Go Behind the Scenes at Rocky Reach Dam
- Written by Christy Shearer, CCPUD
Extended hours and hard-hat tours welcome guests to dam July 21-26
Wenatchee, Wa – Rediscover your PUD! Bring your friends and family out to Rocky Reach Dam from July 21 to 26, as Chelan PUD throws open the doors and invites you for an inside look to experience what it takes to generate 1300 megawatts of power.
The crew from the Visitor Center is extending their hours and will greet guests from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. all week, as well as offer free, in-depth, hard-hat tours from 6-8 p.m. each evening.
There’ll be even more to see on Saturday, July 26, when free hard-hat tours are offered by reservation, from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., every 90 minutes for those 12-and-older. Visitors should call the Visitor Center at (509) 663-7522 to reserve their spot, as space is limited.
Also available Saturday the 26th, tours every 90 minutes, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., of our high-tech fish “sampling” station, where baby salmon and steelhead are briefly diverted from their trip toward the ocean for a quick checkup and scientific study. These tours are also for those 12-and-older and require a reservation.
Guests to the open house on Saturday will see linemen demonstrating what NOT to do around electricity and learn how the PUD Dive Team works deep under the waters of the Columbia River. You can even look into a career at the PUD. Staff will be on hand with a career station.
For those who want to learn more about Rocky Reach and the PUD’s ties to the river, local residents and the region, dam staff will show videos throughout the day in our 90-seat theater, including the dam’s appearance on the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs.
All week, visitors can enjoy what Rocky Reach always offers daily: a museum, a café with balconies that open to panoramic views of the dam and fish ladder, magnificent grounds with spectacular flowers, a playground and geocaching.