OPINION

Koll: Wind would blow embers into SCW

Posted 5/21/22

I would like to make a few comments from your article (“Wildfire real danger in SCW,” Sun City West Independent, May 11, 2022).

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OPINION

Koll: Wind would blow embers into SCW

Posted

I would like to make a few comments from your article (“Wildfire real danger in SCW,” Sun City West Independent, May 11, 2022).

I am a retired wildland firefighter and professional forester with experience of 28.5 years with the Department of Natural Resources, state of Washington. I was deployed as a division boss or task force leader on many project fires (Wenatchee, Spokane, Chelan, etc.). When it comes to fire behavior, I have seen it all, from initial attack to mop up and suppression.

Yes, Sun City West is bordered on the east by very dry, flashy and medium loading fuels. If and when we have a fire in this locale, east winds will carry the embers into Sun City West and create spot fires. From my experience in Spokane, wind-carried embers just love tar shingle roofs, open roof eaves, dry lawn furniture, pine trees and open garages — open roof eaves capture embers and tar shingle roofs are flammable and most critical. 

Your article brought back some precious memories of wildland firefighting. Your article was well written, hope it opens some eyes.  

Vick Koll

Sun City West

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