Tips for homeowners property on outdoor fire preparedness

CLARKSTON, WA - Red flag warnings are in effect around the region because of the thunderstorms projected for the rest of the work week.

We thought you might want to know about how to help prevent fires on your property in case lightening does strike. Carol Zinke talked to fire leaders from Asotin County and the city of Clarkston.

The city of Clarkston has an ordinance that requires people to keep their grass cut at eight inches or shorter. So, whether you have overgrown grass or weeds, the city requires property owners to keep their lawn maintained.

"We often drive through town looking for these lots," said Clarkston Fire Chief, Steve Cooper. "Sometimes we get neighbors that call and complain about lots that are overgrown next to them. We'll always go and investigate that. If people are home during the daytime we'll knock on their door, visit about the ordinance requirement and try to gain compliance through a friendly visit."

Chief Cooper said if they can't talk to you in person they'll send a letter, which he said is something people generally respond well to.

After you've been notified by the city, you have 72-hours to take care of your property. If you don't, the fire chief has the option to hire someone to take care of it for you and you'll be charged for labor, plus an administration fee.

Cooper said he hasn't had to do that in eight years. The county has a similar ordinance in place. People living on Asotin County land have to keep grass cut to 12 inches or shorter. County officials will also send a letter or visit you at home.

"There's fines listed in the ordinance," said Asotin County Fire Marshal, Karst Riggers. "It's a staggered fee that starts around a couple hundred dollars and goes up to $10,000 if they have multiple violations."

Both Cooper and Riggers are asking everyone to keep their property maintained, especially right now with the storms.

Every county and city has their own rules and regulations when it comes to keeping your property maintained. If you have questions about it, call your local fire department.