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Orcas Island Fire & Rescue Team Up with DNR For Wildfire Ready Neighbors Program

FRIDAY HARBOR – Fire Chief Holly vanSchaick and PIO Kat Barnard met with representatives from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), San Juan Fire & Rescue, Lopez Fire & EMS, emergency management, the National Park Service, and San Juan Islands Conservation District on Wednesday for the local launch of Wildfire Ready Neighbors – an initiative to help bolster community preparedness ahead of wildfire season.

Orcas Island residents can sign up now at WildfireReady.com to receive a free customized action plan, including steps they can take immediately and information about local resources to get them started. Residents can also request a free Wildfire Ready Home Visit, where a wildfire expert will visit their property and develop a tailored action plan for wildfire preparedness.

In addition to the free resources offered through Wildfire Ready Neighbors, funding is also available through the San Juan Islands Conservation District for neighborhood associations and communities that meet certain criteria.

Wildfire Ready Neighbors is already operational in 11 counties across Washington state. Since 2021, staff and experts from DNR and partner organizations have worked with 5,000 Washington residents to complete 30,000 preparedness actions.

Through Wildfire Ready Neighbors, residents and property owners can get a free custom plan and schedule one-on-one meetings with experts to learn how to reduce fire risk through simple yet impactful actions like removing flammable brush, cleaning roofs and gutters, and creating defensible space around their homes.

To learn more, visit: https://wildfireready.dnr.wa.gov/.

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