Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) is working to expand upon a FEMA grant that Portland Parks and Recreation received in 2006 to begin a fuel reduction project at Station 27 (Skyline).
The goal of the funding is to reduce the hazardous wildfire fuels and construct a demonstrative landscape display that educates nearby homeowners about the techniques of fire safe landscaping. Station 27’s location in the Wildland/Urban Interface (WUI) of Forest Park provides an excellent setting to exhibit the balance of hazardous fuel reduction while conforming to the environmental overlay zone requirements. These zoning requirements protect natural resources and native plant communities. This demonstration project was identified as a high-priority in the recently adopted Multnomah County Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
For the next two days, a six-member crew from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) will be removing vegetation on the fire station property located at 3130 NW Skyline Blvd. The ODF personnel have been instructed to cut, trim, and remove the dead and dying vegetation, as well as non-native and invasive species which may contribute to potential ground and tree-top fire spread. Wildfires are much more manageable to suppress when contained to ground vegetation.
Large trees near the fire station will be limbed and pruned up to eight feet from ground level to reduce the potential of ground fires extending into the heavy fuels of the large trees. Once a wildfire has progressed into the upper sections of these large trees it is classified as a “crown fire.” These fast moving fires are extremely difficult to extinguish allowing the fire to quickly travel from treetop to treetop or crown-to-crown of large non-deciduous trees. Burning embers can travel great distances in wind driven conditions potentially igniting multiple structures.
Once completed, this project will provide the public an informative exhibit that will showcase Fire Wise best practices utilizing fire resistive plants, ground cover, hardscapes, and building construction.
Additional information on how to keep your home safe in the Wildland Urban/Interface can be found at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/fire/wildland.