Firefighters from Portland Fire & Rescue’s stations 11, 22, 26, and 29 participated in an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) training class in July 2011. This class prepared the firefighters for the wildfire season that is soon to occur in the Pacific Northwest as they start their daily patrols of Forest Park. Though the wildfire season usually starts as early as June, it will not likely begin until late July.
“The firefighters drive Jeeps and other vehicles throughout the park to patrol for fires, suspicious activity, and to make sure lanes are clear,” Paul Corah said to the Oregonian.
Portland Fire & Rescue is doing everything possible to help prepare and prevent wildfires like the three major fires in the Forest Park’s history.
REDUCING THE RISK OF WILDIFRE
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.
One way to do this is 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. Three critical steps in creating a defensible space include:
- Using fire resistant building materials
- Landscaping with ﬁre resistant plants
- Reducing flammable materials or fuels, such as invasive trees and shrubs, plant trimmings, firewood, fiberglass boats, and recreational vehicles around the home
These actions do not ensure that your home will survive a wildfire, but they make your landscape and home more wildfire resistant, or at least able to slow the advance of a wildfire. Depending on the expanse of an approaching fire, the number of homes threatened, and the number of fire engines deployed to each neighborhood, homes may survive the fire based solely on the performance of the fire-resistant characteristics of the building structure itself. By using fire resistant materials when building or remodeling, the chances of your home surviving a wildfire are greatly increased.
Visit Portland Fire & Rescue's wildfire page at http://www.portlandonline.com/fire/wildfire to learn how to use fire resistant building materials, lanscape with ﬁre resistant plants, and ways to plan for a wildfire emergency.
Portland Fire & Rescue
We Respond: Always Ready, Always There
July 8, 2011
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