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Community Engages in Wildfire Prevention Forum

Community members and fire safety officials gathered to talk about fire prevention on Thursday night.

Posted: Jan 17, 2019 11:39 PM
Updated: Jan 18, 2019 8:55 AM

MEDFORD, Ore -- Community members and fire safety officials gathered to talk about fire prevention on Thursday night. 

Around 200 people attended the wildfire prevention forum at the Smullin Health Education Center, which is at the Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. 

Fire officials from several local counties went on stage to talk with the community about how to avoid another brutal wildfire season. One of those leaders was Dave Lorenz. He is the Southern Oregon director in the Oregon Department of Forestry.

"I think education is foundational to keeping communities safe. So, the more citizens can know about fires and about things that they can do the better that is. To have that many people show up in the middle of Winter is a good thing," said Lorenz. 

Each person had the opportunity to take home a booklet and two documents that gave tips on how to prevent wildfires. They also provided information on how to keep your home safe in the event of a nearby wildfire. 

According to the Oregon Department of Forestry, people are responsible for 70 percent of wildfires in Oregon. 

One of the main topics is burn piles. Burn piles are prohibited in many areas during fire season. Burn piles can easily get out of control and cause serious damage during any part of the year. 

Also, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry, 64 percent of wildfires take place within one mile of the forestland-urban interface. This is where communities border Oregon's forests and rangelands. 

How wildfires impact local economies was also up for discussion. For example, Ashland has a heavy tourism community. The smoke from the wildfires makes it difficult for people to stay in the area. 

Sara Jones, the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Ashland Forest Resiliency was proud of how many people were getting involved in the meeting. 

"I think that we are all working together as a community to improve the forests and the outcomes from that. That will take a public investment. I think we are all working on that together long term. That kind of investment is going to be something that will reduce that smoke," said Jones.

The Oregon Department of Forestry would like to remind you to do your part by acting responsibly, and always remember that one less spark means one less wildfire.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 206851

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40371614
Washington26781248
Marion23425323
Clackamas18932235
Lane13908164
Jackson11535146
Deschutes1001882
Umatilla859387
Linn561181
Yamhill478279
Klamath477678
Polk399356
Douglas388483
Malheur361463
Josephine360672
Benton326522
Jefferson237039
Coos216637
Columbia192129
Union149924
Wasco144430
Lincoln143021
Crook129223
Hood River121633
Morrow115416
Clatsop10589
Baker101115
Curry71011
Tillamook6604
Grant5507
Lake4678
Harney4339
Wallowa1945
Gilliam801
Sherman671
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3809710

Reported Deaths: 63356
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124774424456
Riverside3016684627
San Bernardino2992894845
San Diego2818103771
Orange2730575113
Santa Clara1201632188
Kern1107991404
Sacramento1078211736
Fresno1029471724
Alameda896591277
Ventura816611031
San Joaquin747271440
Contra Costa70730813
Stanislaus634971070
Tulare49776849
Monterey43836432
San Mateo42681581
San Francisco37269556
Santa Barbara34613455
Solano33762266
Merced32313478
Sonoma30884317
Imperial28855741
Placer23589299
Kings23195247
San Luis Obispo21421261
Madera16638245
Santa Cruz16246208
Marin14206230
Yolo14160212
Butte12668194
Shasta12630233
El Dorado10396116
Napa1002680
Sutter9663113
Yuba648951
San Benito610963
Lassen578424
Tehama573463
Nevada491975
Humboldt449948
Mendocino434050
Tuolumne421271
Amador374047
Lake356345
Glenn243427
Siskiyou239637
Colusa228418
Calaveras220756
Del Norte14588
Inyo143438
Mono12954
Plumas7366
Modoc5585
Mariposa4657
Trinity4225
Sierra1160
Alpine890
Unassigned280
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