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Local Citizens Learn to Reduce Wildfire Risks at Community Meetings


On the evening of July 13, 2011, Portland Fire & Rescue’s Battalion Chief Chris Babcock and Staff Fire Lieutenant Matthew Silva joined Cindy Kolomechuk with the Oregon Department of Forestry to present information about the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) to citizens in the Rocky Butte neighborhood.

A CWPP is a plan developed by a community in an area at-risk from wildfire. The Community Wildfire Protection Planning process is the collaboration between communities and agencies interested in reducing wildfire risk.

During public meeting such as this, Babcock, Silva, and Kolomenchuk meet with citizens in populated areas in Multnomah County communities that are at-risk from wildfire and offer actions that will help improve safety in that particular area. 

Rocky Butte is one of several areas in Portland built adjacent to fire-prone natural areas.  Citizens in the Rocky Butte area are encouraged to take special precautions to protect their lives, homes, and property.

“The safest, easiest, and most economical way to mitigate unwanted fires is to stop them before they start,” Silva noted.  He went on to say, “Residents of Multnomah County need to be aware that home defensibility starts with the homeowner. Once a fire has started and is moving toward a structure, the probability of that structure surviving is largely dependent on the structural and landscaping characteristics of the building.”

Silva encourages citizens in high risk wildfire areas to create a defensible space around your home by modifying, reducing or clearing potential wildfire fuel materials or vegetation to create a barrier that will slow the spread of wildfire toward your home. A defensible space also allows room for firefighters to fight the fire safely while protecting your home. Click here to learn more about creating a defensible space around your home.

Sign Up for the FirstCall Public Notification System

Babcock, Silva, and Kolomenchuk also encouraged community members to sign up for the FirstCall Public Notification System.  This countywide emergency notification system will be able to send email, text and telephone notifications to residents and businesses within Multnomah County impacted by, or in danger of being impacted by, an emergency or significant event. To sign up for the City of Portland and Multnomah County FirstCall Public Notification System, visit

Don’t Live in the City of Portland or Multnomah County?

Clackamas, Clark, Columbia, and Washington County also have community notification systems.  Please see links below:

Portland Fire & Rescue reminds citizens that in the Pacific Northwest, fires are a natural part of the changing landscape. As homeowners continue to build directly adjacent to fire-prone natural areas, they must take special precautions to protect their lives, homes, and property.  Visit PF&R’s “Reducing the Risk of Wildfire” webpage at for additional information.  


   Portland Fire & Rescue 

   We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

   July 26, 2011 


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