June 18, 2005
Oregon’s state fire marshal encourages home and building owners to protect themselves against wildfires through prevention and structural risk reduction. Warmer temperatures and low precipitation have increased fire vulnerability in areas with a mix of structure and wildland fuels, such as trees and shrubs. Home and building owners should take steps to be ready when wildfires arrive.
“Contact your local fire department to find out about outdoor burning restrictions,” urges Oregon State Fire Marshal Nancy Orr. An early dry spring means many fire districts will ban outdoor burning early.
Orr added, “Reducing fuels around your home and buildings and decreasing structural ignitability will increase your home’s survivability when a wildfire arrives.” Steps to reduce ignitable fuels leading up to your home include:
* Maintain an adequately watered defensible space around your house, at least 100 feet of space on level ground and 200 feet on sloped terrain.
* Remove all dead plants, trees, branches, and debris.
* Establish native, fire-resistant plants within 30 feet of home.
* Remove branches extending over the roof or within 6 feet of the home.
Steps to reduce structural ignitability include:
* Screen all vent openings with 1/8 inch or smaller noncorrosive metal mesh.
* Enclose area under raised decks to prevent embers from blowing underneath.
For more on wildfire conditions:http://egov.oregon. gov/ODF