With fires burning throughout Oregon and particularly in Sisters, Oregon, residents should be prepared to evacuate in a wildfire situation at a moments notice. Residents near ongoing wildfires might be wondering what they can do to be better prepared for possible evacuation. Project Wildfire urges residents to prepare for evacuation by knowing the statewide evacuation levels, registering their cell phones for emergency alert, and having their evacuation kit packed for themselves, their family, and pets. Oregon uses three evacuation levels after consideration and approval by the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association, Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office, Oregon Office of Emergency Management, Oregon Fire Chief’s Association, and the Oregon Department of Forestry.

As the fire danger increases and continues Project Wildfire and our partner agencies want to ensure you understand the three level evacuation system and where to get current information regarding fire activity.

Level 1: Be Ready

There is an incident in your area and residents should be aware of potential evacuation. Be aware of the danger, monitor emergency services sources and local media for information.  Those persons who will need additional time to exit an area or have health conditions (especially respiratory conditions that could be made worse by smoke) should consider leaving. You are encouraged to prepare or even move livestock and pets out of the area.  Be prepared to leave if conditions worsen.

Level 2: Get Set

There is significant danger in your area and residents should be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice. You are encouraged to leave and should do so as soon as possible. If you choose to stay, you should be able to leave immediately if conditions worsen.  You MAY have time to gather necessary items, but doing so is at your own risk.  Entry to evacuated areas may be denied until the hazard subsides.

This may be the only notice you receive. Emergency services cannot guarantee we will be able to notify you if conditions rapidly deteriorate.

Level 3: Go Now!

There is immediate and imminent danger and you should evacuate immediately. DO NOT DELAY LEAVING to gather any belongings or make efforts to protect your home. Leave immediately and as quickly as possible. Drive carefully, turn on your headlights, and follow any directions from emergency services personnel. Entry to evacuated areas will be denied until the hazard subsides.

“During fire season, making sure that you and your family are always on ready for an emergency evacuation can make all the difference,” explains Alison Green, Program Coordinator for Project Wildfire. “Having a plan and a emergency 72-hour kit ahead of time can allow for your family to take some extra precautionary measures if you are given a Level 1 Notice.”

One integral piece is making sure your cell phone is registered to receive emergency notifications. This can be accomplished on Deschutes County 911 registration page. When packing your evacuation kit or 72-Hour kit start with the vital 5 P’s: People, Pets, Pills, Photos, and important Papers. Also, make sure your 72-hour kit has: phone chargers, a flashlight with extra batteries, first aid kit, prescription pills, eyeglasses, any essential equipment for infants/elderly, water, sleeping bags, clothing for each family member, and your 5P’s. Keep these things in a spot in your home that is easily accessed so you can leave in a hurry.

Visit www.projectwildfire.org/evacuation or www.deschutescounty.org