Published by Kristin Babbs
Nine Oregon communities were awarded $500 each to implement wildfire prevention projects on Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. They are joining a nationwide effort to reduce their wildfire risk on May 6, 2017. The National Fire Protection Association’s Community Wildfire Preparedness Day is a call to action that gives people of all ages a chance to plan and participate in a risk reduction or wildfire preparedness activity that makes their community a safer place to live.
Some 342,000 Oregon homes are located in forested areas, making them vulnerable to wildfire, said Kristin Babbs with Keep Oregon Green. This event is a great way to raise awareness of this important issue, and to challenge family, friends and local organizations to participate in Wildfire Preparedness Day.
Reducing losses from wildfires is a shared responsibility among emergency managers, response agencies, and local community members, said Tom Fields with the Oregon Department of Forestry. Through educational, individual and group activities, residents can learn more about the importance of wildfire preparedness and planning, and the power of prevention.
The following nine Oregon communities successfully competed nationwide for the cash awards and will be hosting a number of activities to promote wildfire awareness and safety.
• Grants Pass (2)
• La Pine
• West Linn
Projects for Wildfire Preparedness Day can range from a few hours up to an entire day. They can be undertaken by individuals or groups. Below are actions residents can take to reduce the risk of home and property becoming fuel for a wildfire:
• Rake and remove debris and dry leaves at least 3 to 5 feet from of a home’s foundation, and preferably up to 30 feet as time permits.
• Keep your roof and gutters free of downed tree limbs, broken branches and leaves.
• Distribute wildfire safety information, like the free Firewise Toolkit, to neighbors or staff a table at a grocery or hardware store (other high-traffic locations work, too) and distribute free Firewise and emergency preparedness materials that can be ordered from the Firewise catalog or from READY.gov.
• Join forces with neighbors and pool your resources to pay for a chipper service to remove slash.
• Help an elderly relative or neighbor enter emergency numbers and the names of close relatives into their cell phones; and in large font post their phone number and street address above their landline so it can easily be seen when providing information to an emergency dispatcher.
Find additional project ideas and learn more about the national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day event on May 6 by visiting www.wildfireprepday.org.
About Keep Oregon Green Keep Oregon Green (KOG) is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization that promotes programs and messages encouraging the public to work together in their local communities to prevent the risk of wildfire. Our work targets residents, particularly those in the wildland-urban interface, and recreationists using Oregon’s public and private lands.
About State Farm The mission of State Farm is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto, home and individual life insurance in the United States. Its 18,000 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve more than 83 million policies and accounts – nearly 81 million auto, home, life, health and commercial policies, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 35 on the 2016 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.