Homeowners fire safety tips during the dog days of summer

CLARKSTON, WA - Asotin County may have a burn-ban in place, but that doesn't mean fires won't happen.

Carol Zinke has some tips on what you can do to keep your home fire-free during the hot and dry summer months.

As the temperature gets hotter this summer areas in Clarkston are getting dryer. I talked to Asotin County Fire Chief Noel Hardin, who said it's very important to maintain your property and help your neighbors do the same.

Some tips include watering your lawn and the surrounding area often and cutting grass as short as possible. Hardin said it's good to keep things green, but just because it's green doesn't mean it won't burn.

"If you have those green juniper type bushes right up against your property, we've seen fires start in those and turn into a structure fire within a minute or two," said Fire Chief Hardin.

Hardin said if you have tall, dry grass around your property it's important to cut it and keep it watered. Dry grass, low humidity and strong winds are a firefighters nightmare in the summer. All of these things can affect the way a fire acts. Hardin said a small spark has the potential to turn into a raging fire in just seconds.

"That's why we ask people to be extremely careful around the fourth," said Hardin. "It's a spark from a sparkler or any other type of firework that can wreak havoc in a neighborhood."

If you live in an area that's surrounded by fields or big lots, you want to keep at least a 30-foot buffer to separate your home from any fire that could start in the area.

You can help keep fires down in your neighborhood by following these tips from the Asotin County Fire District.

Chief Hardin said spontaneous combustion is another cause of fires in the summer. So, as it gets hotter out there it's a good idea to keep tips like these in mind.