Don’t put that shovel away if you haven’t cleared the fire hydrant

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Even if you’re worn out from shoveling your sidewalks, walkways and driveway out from last week’s record-breaking snow, there are other task officials would like you to check off.

An extremely important one is clearing space around the fire hydrant outside your house.

Kay McKellar with Chelan County Fire District 1 and Douglas County Fire District 2 said every second can count with a structure fire and the consequences of not having access to a fire hydrant can be devastating.

Officials say a perimeter of about three feet should be cleared around the hydrant, with a clear path to the street.

McKellar said many fire districts in the area all-volunteer and those firefighters depend on residents to clear the hydrants.

Also important is keeping stormwater drains clear of snow.

As the snow melts, the likelihood of streets being flooded increases significantly if stormwater drains are covered.

The city of East Wenatchee points out that flooded streets can quickly turn to icy streets at night.