May 6th through the 12th is Wildfire Awareness Week here in Oregon.
May 7, 2012 -- Portland Fire & Rescue, alongside the Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) and governors from Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, and California, encourage homeowners to use this opportunity to make sure their home is protected from wildfire.
With more and more people living near wildlands, there is a greater chance of loss of life and property and damage to natural resources. Public Information Officer Paul Corah suggests citizens begin by removing dead vegetation a minimum of 30 feet around homes.
The Keep Oregon Green Association encourages citizens to prune trees and keep grass cut short and green to keep fire on the ground and more manageable by fire crews. The Association also notes that homeowners should also keep access in mind for large fire trucks. Long driveways should be at least 12 feet wide, have 10 feet of vegetation clearance from the centerline out, and about 14 feet overhead. Large vehicle turnaround areas are critical for your safety as well as firefighter safety.
It is the homeowners' responsibility to protect their homes by building defensible space. Click here to learn how 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.