Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Wildfire Preparedness in Central Oregon
This season we are highlighting many of the creative and innovative ways that communities are getting organized and preparing for wildfire. This is an important component of the Fire Adapted Communities goal within the Cohesive Strategy.
One such effort is in Central Oregon, where residents are no strangers to wildfire. Twenty years ago, the Bend Fire Department partnered with Safeco Insurance to launch the FireFree program, a comprehensive program designed to educate residents about the dangers of wildfire, the benefits of defensible space and the ten easy steps they can take to reduce that risk on their property. The program has grown to include multiple partners including counties, private businesses and all local fire departments. The height of the year-round program includes "FireFree Days" during Wildfire Preparedness Month at local landfills and collection sites where residents can bring their defensible space yard debris for free. The annual events gather over 40,000 cubic yards of debris that is then chipped and locally recycled. More about FireFree here.