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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.

Confirmed Cases: 42808

Reported Deaths: 664
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah9292163
Marion5929108
Washington583877
Umatilla337645
Clackamas317265
Lane241927
Malheur192738
Jackson17076
Deschutes113613
Yamhill100115
Linn81615
Polk65715
Jefferson6059
Morrow5457
Lincoln51713
Union4682
Benton4456
Klamath4173
Douglas3598
Wasco34816
Hood River2771
Columbia2691
Josephine2693
Coos2510
Clatsop2440
Baker1253
Crook1102
Tillamook700
Curry581
Wallowa462
Lake380
Harney340
Sherman190
Gilliam110
Grant110
Wheeler20
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 914888

Reported Deaths: 17460
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles3020777027
Riverside669931303
San Bernardino633671073
Orange589801454
San Diego55210877
Kern33928416
Fresno30969439
Sacramento25601491
Santa Clara24425392
Alameda23471462
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Contra Costa18763242
Stanislaus17714398
Tulare17590288
Ventura14330165
Imperial12967336
San Francisco12189140
Monterey1141990
San Mateo11198159
Santa Barbara9827122
Merced9531155
Sonoma9494136
Kings826483
Solano744576
Marin7096129
Madera503774
Placer420757
San Luis Obispo417432
Yolo321959
Butte309552
Santa Cruz280825
Napa196616
Shasta195431
Sutter186512
San Benito144215
El Dorado13514
Yuba132310
Mendocino113621
Tehama8928
Lassen7661
Lake69816
Glenn6713
Nevada6238
Humboldt56810
Colusa5516
Calaveras34218
Amador33116
Tuolumne2754
Inyo23115
Siskiyou2050
Del Norte1801
Mono1802
Mariposa792
Plumas700
Modoc360
Trinity270
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Alpine30
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