JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — Becoming a "Firewise Community" is a collective way for communities to come together and protect their homes from wildfires.
A Firewise Community starts when residents come together and acknowledge that there’s a potential for fire in the neighborhood. There are currenty nine Firewise sites in the Fire District 3 service area of Jackson County.
To become a Firewise Community, you need to touch base with your local fire department. They will come out to inspect land with a representative from ODF. They will then let homeowners know what needs to be done to make the community safer — things like removing flammable vegetation including cypress or Himalayan blackberry bushes, clearing gutters, or removing weeds.
Fire officials will also help homeowners establish a priority list of what needs to be done, so that the aspiring Firewise don’t have to do everything at once. They also work to get grants to cover the costs of these fire-safe changes.
“We have a lot of rural land in Fire District 3 service area so we feel like it's also upon us to provide this service, to educate all of our community members,” says Ashley Blakley with Fire District 3. “If they're interested in participating, then we're working very hard to acquire different funding to allow that to happen.”
To remain a Firewise Community, communities will need to check in with the local fire department once a year. They also want to see that progress is being made on the action plan that was set.
If you’re interested in learning more or getting your community involved, contact your local fire department.