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It is important that landowners in Spokane County learn about preparing their home and community to be more resilient to wildfires. By employing Firewise principals, residents can take proactive steps to mitigate risks.

Spokane County residents are entitled to receive a FREE Firewise Risk Assessment to evaluate their homes risk. A District Forester will visit your property for approximately one hour and will provide you with a list of practical ways to lessen your wildfire risk.

Central to reducing these risks is the concept of defensible space. This refers to the area surrounding your home, modified to decrease the threat of wildfire and facilitate effective firefighting. The size of this space will vary based on factors such as slope and vegetation type, determined during the assessment.

To schedule a Firewise risk assessment of your home site, or if you have questions about protecting your home from a wildfire, contact Ben Peterson at

Click Here to Sign Up for Your Free Risk Assessment

Firewise USA Sites workshop

Current and potential Firewise USA Sites: come join us to learn about preparing your home and community to be more resilliant to wildfires, and how your community might be eligible for a Firewise Microgrant!

This workshop is for:

  • Representatives of Existing Firewise USA Sites.
  • Representatives of neighborhoods and communities that would like to better withstand wildfire.

Topics Include:

  • History of fires in Spokane County
  • Community Perspectives
  • Neighborhood Groups
  • Public Alerts & Warnings
  • Firewise Program
  • Grant Opportunities


  • Thursday, February 22nd from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM

  • Saturday, February 24th from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Hazard Fuel Reduction

In the Spokane region, fire has long been a natural part of the environment. Here, it’s not a question of if a wildfire will happen, but rather when they will occur.

For residents in forested areas, proactive steps can
safeguard property and preserve valuable timber resources. One crucial measure if the hazard Fuel Reduction project, aimed at diminishing the accumulation of combustible materials in the forest. These materials include natural vegetation, debris from forestry activities, and small trees or brush that can fuel ground fires into the canopy.

As a result of your Firewise Risk Assessment, a Hazard Fuels Reduction plan may be recommended. Cost-share is available through SCD and its agency partners including the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). www.

If you are interested in having a Hazard Fuel Reduction project on your property, or if you have any questions, contact Garth Davis.

General tips for preventing wildfire damage:

  • Avoid the use of shake roofs
  • Remove all dead branches that are hanging over your roof
  • Clean dead leaves and needles from your roof and gutters
  • Keep all woodpiles at least 30′ away from all structures and clear all vegetation within 10′ of the woodpiles
  • Minimize the use of ornamental conifers in your landscaping; emphasize the use of low-growing plants, such as groundcover and bedding plants

HIZ Program

Experience and research have revealed that embers and small flames are the leading cause of home ignition in wildfires.  Embers are burning pieces of airborne wood and/or vegetation that can be carried more than a mile through the wind and can cause spot fires and ignite homes, debris, and other objects. 

The Home Ignition Zone Cost-Share Program is designed to help homeowners prepare for and minimize the risk of wildfire damage to their homes. SCD’s Home Ignition Zone program focuses specifically on the area within 0–5 feet from the home and/or structure and is limited to homeowners who live adjacent to forest land or other undeveloped, natural areas.

Our Free Assessments can take up to an hour and include:

  • Basics of wildfire behavior and how homes ignite
  • Important home ignition risks
  • Easy steps to reduce the threat of unnecessary losses
  • Firewise funding opportunities

Click here to sign up for your free risk assessment.
Click here for a printout of HIZ practices and specifications.

Click Here to Sign Up for Your Free Risk Assessment

Each Home Ignition Zone project will begin with a visit from an SCD Forester

The SCD Forester will perform an evaluation of wildfire hazard risks within the home ignition zone.  During the HIZ contract development, all wildfire risks will be prioritized, and practices should be installed in the order of highest risk.

Need to Know Information

Cost-Share Limits

SCD provides 75% cost-share for projects up to $7,500 ($5,625 max district input).  Homeowners are required to contribute 25% of the total project cost with cash or in-kind donations of labor, materials, or equipment.

Payment of Allowable Costs

SCD will pay only for allowable costs. A cost is allowable if it’s reasonable, necessary to complete the approved scope of work, documented adequately, and incurred during the period of performance set forth in the cost-share agreement. Costs outside the period of performance are not allowable. A cost is considered reasonable if the nature of the work or materials and the cost reflect what a prudent person would pay under the circumstances.

Donated Equipment or Tool Use

Donated equipment or tool use occurs when a third party donates the use of equipment or tools with a replacement value of $500 or more. The maximum rate allowable may not exceed the rental rate for comparable equipment or tools in the project area. Donated equipment or tool use does not include operator services.

Donated Materials and Supplies

Materials and supplies are considered donated when they are given to the project at no cost. The reported value of donated materials is the market value of the materials or supplies at the time used.

You Must Pay First

SCD pays all cost-share agreements through reimbursement. You may request reimbursement only after you’ve paid your contractors and vendors.

SCD Pays Promptly!

SCD is provided 30 days to pay a properly completed reimbursement invoice. In most cases, reimbursement requests are paid within 10 days of receipt. Properly completed invoices include all necessary documentation, signatures, and backup documents. Incomplete reimbursement requests won’t be paid until satisfactory documentation to support the request is provided.

Donated Labor

Donated labor is time provided by a person without compensation. Labor donations are valued at an hourly rate of pay. The hourly rate for persons aged 18 and over is $22.00 per hour; if the person is 17 years of age or younger, the rate is the published Washington State minimum wage.

Donated Labor Documentation Records must be maintained to verify volunteer hours spent on a project. These records must include the following information:
• Individual’s name
• Contact information
• Dates of service
• Worksite or location name
• Description of work performed
• Hours worked
• Individual or crew leader signature and date

Your Information is Public

All information and documentation submitted to the SCD is subject to public review (Revised Code of Washington 42.56).


Does SCD pay upfront for work to be completed?

No, project costs will be reimbursed to the homeowner upon satisfactory completion of each practice or complete project.

Can more than one practice be installed per contract?

Yes, as long as all practices do not exceed a total project cost of $5,000.

Can a homeowner perform work to be completed in the cost-share agreement or hire a family to accomplish the work?

Yes, the homeowner may elect to hire a licensed contractor to perform the work or perform the work themselves.  Labor provided by the homeowner, their family, or friends will be reimbursed using the guidance and rates described above under the heading, Donated Labor.

How long can it take to complete the work?

Projects must be completed by November 1st of the year they are initiated.

Forestry Technical Assistance Request

Our dedicated staff of foresters and arborists are here to help! All
technical assistance services are available to residents of Spokane County.

We offer a range of services including Firewise/HIZ Assessment,
Tree/Landscape Assessment, Hazard Tree Risk Assessment, and Forest Technical

Firewise Contact

Ben PetersonForester | ISA Certified Arborist
509-535-7274, ext. 215 |

Program Manager
Garth Davis | 509-535-7274, ext. 212 |

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