Know where to find wildfire information resources and how to do your part to prepare
Central Oregon – During the month of May, the Deschutes National Forest is encouraging folks to recognize “National Wildfire Awareness Month” by doing their part to help prepare for wildfire season. While Central Oregon has received significant precipitation this spring, the area continues to see the effects of persistent drought. The National Significant Wildfire Potential Outlook continues to rate Central Oregon as an area with increased significant fire potential, particularly during dry and windy conditions.
For wildfire and prescribed fire information in Central Oregon, visit centraloregonfire.org or follow @CentralORFire on Twitter. Users can sign-up to receive new content via email as it’s published online. Visitors to the site can also find resources on current air quality conditions, tools for reducing smoke exposure and impacts, and tips for staying healthy during smoky conditions. Residents can text “COFIRE” to 888-777 to receive text alert updates on wildfires and prescribed fires happening in Deschutes County.
Residents can help firefighters this summer by preparing their homes and themselves for wildfire. Create defensible space around your house by clearing debris from gutters and decks, removing dead and flammable vegetation from within 10 feet of your house and moving flammable items such as firewood and propane tanks at least 30 feet from your house, garage and outbuildings. Visit projectwildfire.org for resources and information about how you can help protect your home from wildfire. Create a Wildfire Action Plan that includes evacuation planning for your home, family and pets.
Before heading outdoors, contact the agency or landowner who manages the lands at your destination for an update on current fire restrictions or bans. Visitors should review these restrictions before building campfires, burning debris, or using equipment that could ignite dry vegetation.
Campfires should be contained within a campfire ring and the surrounding area should be clear of combustible material at least 15 feet from the campfire ring. People should always make sure that campfires are dead out. Dead out means you can place your hand on top of where the campfire was located, and it is cool to the touch. Never walk away from a campfire assuming it will go out on its own.
Residents conducting a debris burn on personal property should ensure that burning is allowed that day, that they have necessary permits and permissions and that they monitor wind and weather conditions. Debris burns should never be left unattended and should be fully extinguished when not monitored.
This “National Wildfire Awareness Month” take time to prepare your family and home for wildfire, familiarize yourself with local fire information resources and practice fire prevention measures now and throughout fire season.