Fire Officials Check for Weed Abatement

6-16 rob web weedsASHLAND, Ore. — Ashland residents had until midnight Sunday to make sure weeds in their yard were no taller than four inches. Monday morning, the Ashland Fire Department wasted no time checking to see if residents were in compliance.

“You know, our priority in the city of Ashland is to address the wildfire hazard zone first,” said Ashland Fire Division Chief Margueritte Hickman.

Overgrown grass in the resident’s yards can be a hazard and cause a potential fire to spread quickly. Overall, fire officials found good compliance, but there were a few exceptions.

“So, we’re just going to ask them to mow it short, we’re going to give them a notice to cut it short and keep it short down to that 4 inches and we’ll recheck it ion about 10 days,” said Hickman

Alberto Kirkendal said he lives nearby and keeps a careful eye on his lot.

“It does grow when you get some rain on it. So, when the rain sops it has a tendency to dry out and that’s when you have to keep the thing cutback pretty good,” said Kirkendal.

Kirkendall said he goes for walks in the neighborhood every morning and said over all, his neighbors do a good job in cutting back there weeds.

“Most people do what they have to do to keep it cut back,” said Kirkendall

Those who had high weeds today got a notice. If not cut in the next 10 days, the city will come in do it at the property owner’s expense and will face a fine of up to $500. Officials said that is a rare occurrence.

“I think people are starting to recognize the fire danger and the risk if you don’t take care of your grass,” said Hickman.

Only a few homes were found to be out of compliance on Monday, but officials urge residents to continue to cut it short and keep it short throughout the end of fire season. Ashland Fire officials said they’ve been doing weed abatement inspections for several years now and have had success and have only had to issue about 10 citations.