Goldmark seizes educational opportunity for defending homes from wildfire; Monastery Complex Fire destroyed 29 homes

In early September, DNR responded to a wildfire that started along Highway 97 in Klickitat County, Washington.

Twenty nine homes were destroyed in the Monastery Complex Fire, but many more were saved by the efforts of firefighters and by homeowners’ use of what is called ‘defensible space.’ Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark sent staff to the wildfire to record the events so DNR could create a video to show how people can protect themselves before wildfire occurs.

During the fire, Goldmark’s Communications Director, Bryan Flint, recorded public meetings with local residents. He visited sites where homes were destroyed as well as several that were saved because property owners had created defensible space around their homes and other structures. Flint also interviewed A.C. ‘Jack’ Forgy, one of several hundred people evacuated from the fire. Forgy described how he had cleared brush, thinned tree stands, and taken other steps to keep his home safe from wildfire. Forgy also described the anxiety that he and other people felt as they waited to hear if their homes had been saved from the fire.

The video, “Defensible Space: The Monastery Complex Fire,” also shows the value of prevention efforts that help keep people and structures safe from wildfire. Learn what you can do at

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