Pend Oreille County experiences the four distinct seasons of Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Summers can be extremely hot and dry. Late Summer typically brings the fire alert level to “HIGH” which at times can possibly lead to many acres of forests and range land being burned and/or destroyed. Winter temperatures can fall well below zero and heavy snowfalls are a common occurrence. A few warm Spring days coupled with rain on snow events may cause flooding bringing damage to property and in some cases making infrastructure impassable, bridges, roads etc. Each of the four seasons should be considered when you are choosing and planning for a home site. The County is not able to protect all private property from wild fires and flooding. Most of that protection has to be built into the site from the beginning. Likewise, there are some areas that should not be built on at all. A home site in heavily timbered areas can be compromised during a forest fire. Dry grass and brush can become dangerous ladder fuels if left to grow near your home or wooded area. Designing your landscape to give your home a protected green envelope or “defensible space” will help reduce the losses associated with wildfires. Advice on this subject is available from local fire departments and the WSU Extension Office.

Country living and getting close to nature is a terrific idea. However, one should be aware that the wildlife you may encounter may have differing ideas on how to utilize your property. Deer love to dine on many of the bushes and small trees that decorate one’s yard, especially ornamentals used in landscaping. Whether you choose to recreate or live in Pend Oreille County, at some point you may experience a rare opportunity with an encounter with wildlife. Some examples you may encounter in Pend Oreille County are as follows: eagle, raven, coyote, fox, mountain lion, squirrel, bear, deer, elk, turkey, wolf and many other native species of birds and insects. Smaller pets left unattended and pet food not stored properly will attract many of these species. Many of these animal species are opportunistic critters who frequently like to dine on whatever food source you leave lying around.