With the recent wildfires raging across parts of eastern Oregon, the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal and Oregon Department of Forestry are urging all homeowners throughout the state of Oregon to reassess the steps they need to take to help protect their home from wildfire.
"Conditions are hot and dry throughout the state," warns Oregon Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. "Homeowners, and the preventive actions they take, are the best defense against approaching wildfires. The most critical factor is for homeowners to remove or reduce flammable fuels within a 100-foot safety zone around their home."
Here are just a few of the preventative steps recommended by the OSFM and ODF. Steps to increase fire resistance in and around your home include:
* Removing the dead and dying material that accumulates around forest homes. Cut out the dead branches or brush, clean the leaves and needles out of the gutters and off the roof.
* Pruning branches from the lower 10 feet of trees to remove "ladder fuels." (Ladder fuels take a ground fire into the tops, or crowns, of trees.) Prune any branches that may be overhanging the home and/or chimneys.
* Planting fire-resistant landscapes. Most fire resistant plants can be found at your local nursery.
* Consider installing a residential fire sprinkler system.
More wildfire safety information may be found on the Firewise website at