OLATHE, Kan. — The Olathe Fire Department is recognizing National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day by educating the community about the dangers of wildfires and how to help prevent them.

“It’s not real common for folks to think that we’re at risk here, but when we have a drier climate and expected for the future to have warmer, drier patterns in the next 10 to 20 years, it becomes an issue,” Olathe Fire Department Fire Captain Ryan Straley said.

Straley has responded to fires across the country and says wildfires in the Midwest are a real risk between developed land and unoccupied lands like green spaces and open fields.

“So, you get a windy day and those light, flashy fuels spread fire very fast,” Straley said. “Goes from the grass into the brush and then from the brush-up and over, and if we get a couple of houses on fire, that becomes an issue.”

He says you can help prevent wildfires from spreading by keeping flammables away from your house and also keeping your gutters clean.

“A privacy fence, for instance, wood mulch. Consider using rock instead of wood, flammable things on the pool deck,” Straley said

You can reach out to the Olathe Fire Department if you’d like to learn other ways to make your house less susceptible to fire.