Welcome to May! May is the perfect time of the year to focus on wildfire preparedness in Central Oregon. Below is a sampling of ways to become more aware of wildfire while preparing for the coming wildfire season. And wildfire season is coming. A quick check of current snow pack compared to where we are at in an average year indicates that it is dry out there and fire season may get started early. If you need some motivation to start preparing for wildfire season, this is it! Keep reading and start making a list of things to do to be more wildfire aware during the month of May.

Community Wildfire Preparedness Day

Tomorrow, May 2 is the National Fire Protection Association’s Community Wildfire Preparedness Day. This day is a call to action inviting people of all ages to plan and participate in wildfire preparedness and risk-reduction activities to make their properties and community safer.

Projects for Wildfire Preparedness Day can range from a few hours up to an entire day.  Below are some examples of things you can do to reduce the risk of home and property becoming fuel for a wildfire:

• Remove all flammable vegetation 5 feet from of a home’s foundation, and create a defensible space of up to 30 feet.

• Keep your roof and gutters free of downed tree limbs, broken branches, needles and leaves.

• Order free Firewise and emergency preparedness materials from the Firewise catalog or from https://www.ready.gov/plan.

• Join forces with neighbors and pool your resources to pay for a chipper service or large debris bin to remove slash.

Find additional project ideas and learn more about the national Community Wildfire Preparedness Day event on May 2 by visiting the NFPA website .

FireFree

FireFree events are planned at many locations throughout Central Oregon to provide a safe and free way to dispose of yard debris created by annual maintenance of defensible space. Check the FireFree events web page for all the dates and locations and make a plan to implement the 10 FireFree steps before your home is threatened by wildfire.

Firewise Workshop

Continuing with the success and momentum of our last free Firewise workshop, we have put together another great opportunity for existing Firewise communities and those working to become Firewise recognized.  This is planned to be an interactive discussion where you will be able to talk with and hear from communities as they share their successes and failures. This will be a great opportunity to learn about tools to reach your community as well. 

This coming session will be focused on Firewise Outreach Strategies including:

Continuing with the success and momentum of our last free Firewise workshop, held on April 23rd, Project Wildfire will be hosting another great opportunity for existing Firewise communities and those working to become Firewise recognized.  This is planned to be an interactive discussion where you will be able to talk with and hear from communities as they share their successes and challenges. This will be a great opportunity to learn about tools to reach your community as well.

This session will be focused on Firewise Outreach Strategies including:

  • Media coverage of community projects
  • Newsletters with planned events
  • Neighborhood welcome kits

This workshop will be held as a virtual (zoom) meeting on May 13th from 10-12Click here to register in advance and we’ll send you the link to join the meeting and an agenda as the date grows closer.

If you missed the first workshop on Firewise basics, focused on the steps you need to take to become a Firewise USA recognized site you can watch a recording of the meeting here.

Wildfires and Insurance Webinars

Insurance is a topic we get a lot of questions about.  The National Fire Protection Association is offering two free webinars so you can learn from experts in the field.  

Session one (May 6, 10-11 AM PDT) will feature experts focused on financial preparedness.  The presenters will be: Nicole Mahrt-Ganley, American Property Casualty Insurance Association, Janet Ruiz, Insurance Information Institute.  You can register for this webinar by clicking here.

Session two (May 20, 10-11 AM PDT) will  feature wildfire experts from the Insurance Institute for Busienss and Home Safety (IBHS) will join NFPA to outline how affordable weekend projects can have a significant impact on your wildfire risks.  The presenters will be: Faraz Hedayati, PhD, IBHS Research Engineer, Daniel Gorham, P.E., IBHS Research Engineer.  You can register for this webinar by clicking here.