NEAR CLE ELUM, Wash. Carolyn Berglund can look out her front door and see the smoke billowing above the ridge line. It s become a regular occurrence, as has the wind which whips through the Central Washington plains.
It gets so dry, it feels like a light breeze, said Berglund. When you have the heat, in the combination with a lot of wind, it brings back a lot of memories.
The Taylor Bridge fire surrounded her home on two sides. She s made changes to the landscape ever since.
Related: Build a wildfire defensible space around your home
The State of California has taken it one step further. After wildfires damaged the Golden State in the early part of the 2000s, lawmakers passed a new mandate forced homeowners in high risk areas to clear brush 100 feet away from their home. The Defensible Space Law is seen as key to keeping embers from flaring and causing a wildfire to spread.
Governor Jay Inslee, through a spokesperson, said he is not aware of similar legislation in the wake of the Carlton Complex Fire, but is focused on providing resources to those in need. That includes the Firewise program, which is in effect in Kittitas County.
You basically want lean, clean and green, said Suzanne Wade of the Kittitas County Conservation District. Her agency provides roving chippers and pruning crews to homeowners in need of cleaning brush. The funding is provided by state and federal grants, according to Wade. She says the 100-foot mark is an important one, especially in the Taylor Bridge case.
We were working with six homes in the fire perimeter, and all six homes we were working with survived, she said.
Berglund was also a recipient of the work and says she ll continue to be proactive, especially during the summer months.
This is our dream home. I love living here, I absolutely love living here, said Berglund. Some people have floods. We have fires.