Because of the lower than normal snowfall in parts of southern and eastern Oregon, the fire potential, according to many officials, is very high. According to an article from the KGW TV station website in Portland, Oregon, Oregon Wildfire experts warn of driest season in 25 years, US Senator Ron Wyden (D- Ore); “They were looking at drought conditions that are the most significant in 25 years. I was in Lane County and the snow was about 10 percent of the typical amount. This looks like it's going to be a very difficult season and we're going to start mobilizing very early."
Oregon’s potential fire season is a threat to be taken seriously by homeowners and the local authorities having jurisdiction. Having worked with two fire jurisdictions and the NFPA’s Wildland Fire Operations Division, I have seen first-hand how homeowners can make a difference both in the survivability of their home and fire fighter safety by implementing Firewise principles both to harden the home itself and by modifying the landscaping surrounding the home.
Homeowners can make changes that protect one of their biggest investments: their home. They can also take simple steps to create areas that are safer for fire fighters to work in. Now is the time to plan, act and embrace Firewise changes in order to have a Year of Living Less Dangerously from Wildfire (#YLLDW), before the wildfire season begins.
There are free online classes, public education materials, and information to enable community members to work together to create resilient Firewise Communities by collaborating with local officials to assess their risks before this year’s fire season begins.