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  • Jon Riley

Covid-19 Evacuation: wait what?

In the grips of a global pandemic I’d like to change the subject if only for a few hundred words. While not a welcome reminder to most; wildfire season is just around the corner. In the fire service we often discuss the “incident within an incident” scenario. Given the current state of our public health and wildfire season growing longer each year, our pump is primed for exactly that. There is a silver lining, quarantine is an awesome time to tackle some of those wildfire preparedness activities we hear about through programs like FirewiseUSA, and Ready, Set, Go.

While we all sit and wonder what’s next, let’s take a few proactive moments to address our 2020 wildfire season before the smoke is in the air. Here’s a few good ideas for a house under quarantine and even a little humor to help you cope:

1) Download a home inventory app. While you aimlessly wander the house like a Covid zombie, take a few pictures and record the contents of your home. This information can be submitted to your insurance agent, stored in the cloud, or downloaded. Many of us are under insured, it’s also a good time to sit down with your home insurance policy and review the fine print. Schedule a Zoom meeting with your agent, he’s looking for something to do right now too!

2) Have a look at your roof. Are there valleys of needles that you’ve been meaning to clean since last winter? While you have the ladder out, take a look down your gutters and make sure embers aren’t likely to start fires in all those dry leaves.

3) Winter is an appropriate time to keep firewood close to the back door. The Gym is closed, now is the appropriate time to move it 30ft away from the house.

4) We’re doing a great job stockpiling quarantine essentials like toilet paper, spiral hams, and hair dye (, but do you know exactly what you’ll need during a wildfire evacuation? Quarantine is a great opportunity to make a list and start putting some of those items into your “go kit.” Paper documents like licenses, titles, birth certificates, medical records, etc. can all be copied in advance and should be included with maybe a few of those extras we picked up at the store last month. But please, leave the hams behind.

Chelan County Fire District #1 is your resource for any information regarding wildfire preparedness. While we are currently postponing our usual site visits, you can always give us a call, or send us an email. We’re here to help and navigate this whole mess together.


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