Protect Your Home Against Wildfires

A public service announcement from our friends at Project Wildfire

How Can You Increase Your Chances of Your Home Surviving a Wildfire?

With the hot summer days and predicted thunderstorms, the potential for a wildfire in central Oregon is much higher in the coming days and weeks. It is never too late to create defensible space around your home. Central Oregon has been in fire season now for a few weeks and Project Wildfire wants to remind residents that YOU are our greatest resource when it comes to protecting homes and neighborhoods. With some simple steps you are able to protect your home and community from a wildfire.

Remember to keep your defensible space defined, keep grass and weeds cut low and always be prepared to respond to wildfire. With this in mind, Project Wildfire urges you to take a look around your property in the “home ignition zone” where glowing embers can ignite spot fires and vulnerable areas like decks, patios and fences that can spread flames to your home. The greatest risk of homes catching fire during a wildland fire event is from the advancing ember shower that can reach your property long before an actual flame front.

“The strong winds that are produced by a large fire can push embers up to 3 miles away. These embers are “firebrands” that can ignite items such as patio furniture cushions, pine needles on your roof and weeds that have grown too tall,” says Alison Green, Program Director for Project Wildfire. “Firefighting resources are limited so it’s up to individual residents to take responsibility for the defensible space around their homes and outbuildings,” she adds.

To address the risk of wildfire, Project Wildfire recommends the following steps that homeowners can take right now to help protect themselves against this very real threat in central Oregon:

  • Cut all grasses and weeds to 4” or less.
  • Clear all pine needles, weeds, leaves and flammable debris from around your home including on roofs; in gutters; near fences; and on, around and under decks – anywhere where glowing embers can ignite and spread fire to your home.
  • Reduce shrubs and other “ladder fuels” around your home that can spread fire to nearby trees or structures.
  • Trim up trees to prevent the spread of fire to the upper branches, or “crowns”.
  • Remove all dead, dying and diseased vegetation around your home – maintain healthy trees and shrubs.
  • Move wood piles at least 30 feet from your home and away from combustible materials or vegetation.
  • Keep driveways clearly marked and clear by trimming trees and cutting weeds for easy access of emergency equipment.

With firefighting resources doing their best to tackle large wildfires, communities that focus on neighborhood wide Firewise ideals can not only increase an individual home’s survival, but the whole neighborhood’s.

“A neighborhood wide approach can increase the chances of homes surviving a wildfire. Creating your defensible space is not only protecting your home, it’s being a good neighbor,” Green explains. “Having the neighborhood focusing on wildfire preparedness can make your home safer over time,” she adds.

Creating whole neighborhoods that are prepared for wildfire is a large piece of Fire Adapted Communities. A fire adapted community acknowledges and takes responsibility for its wildfire risk by taking actions to address resident safety, homes, neighborhoods, businesses and infrastructure, forests, parks, and open spaces we all here in central Oregon enjoy.

Visit for more information about how you can prepare your property for wildfire season and the Plan, Prep, Go guide. Or call the Project Wildfire office at 541-322-7129.


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