VASHON ISLAND, Wash. — “Stay Ready.” That was the message King County wildfire officials gave the Vashon and Maury Island community Thursday as wildfire season gets into gear.

As the fire dangers increase in western Washington, so does the responsibility for residents to make sure they protect their homes.

Michael Sperazza has lived on the island for four years. He said it is important for the community to work with wildfire officials to truly understand the risks associated with wildfires.

"It's not just your neighbors you're protecting, you're protecting your house too," he said.

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It is what prompted Sperazza to pen an article in the Vashon Maury Island Beachcomber stressing that importance and how doing things such as trimming trees, watering your flammable bushes, or removing unnecessary shrub from around your property can save you in the long run.

Sperazza also helped form a community watch party for the Fourth of July to lookout for any fire dangers from fireworks.

"We had people roving in some areas, we had some walking, we had horseback people," Sperazza said.

One of the big topics at Thursday’s meeting was making sure not just your home is clear, but also a path for first responders to get to you in the event of fire danger.

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Sperazza said because a lot of residents who live on the island want to maintain their forestry surroundings, many of the emergency equipment wouldn't be able to get to them.

"People don't realize these firetrucks can't go down a lot of the roads here, either because it’s so steep or tight turns, or because trees are in the way,” Sperazza explained.

The message Thursday night for residents was to stay ready, so you won't have to try and get ready when it's too late.  

Click here to see a PDF of the wildfire presentation.