Published by Kristin Babbs
May 3, 2018
PORTLAND, Ore. – A new exhibit all about wildfire in Oregon launches this week at the World Forestry Center in Portland. It runs through the end of June.
Special family-friendly activities are planned in conjunction with the exhibit each Saturday in May starting May 5 through May 26 and again on Saturday, June 9. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Smokey Bear will appear every Saturday in May and on June 9. On those dates there will be live displays of fire-resistant plants, coloring and activity books for children, and a prize wheel. Visitors in May can also enter a raffle for a free hanging-flower basket donated by a nursery in Scappoose. On Saturday, June 9 a restored 1930s Oregon Department of Forestry AA flatbed fire engine will be on display.
The two-month “Wildfire Destroys More than Trees” exhibit is sponsored by the Oregon Department of Forestry and the non-profit Keep Oregon Green. Kris Babbs, president of Keep Oregon Green said, “Gov. Kate Brown and the chief executives of nine other Western states have declared May as Wildfire Awareness Month. So it’s the perfect time for people to come to the World Forestry Center to learn about wildfire risk in Oregon. The exhibit will help people learn what they can do to prevent fires and protect themselves and their property.”
Malcolm Hiatt is unit supervisor at ODF’s Columbia City office. He took a lead role in planning the exhibit. “Last summer reminded us all how a single careless act can create a wildfire that disrupts travel, degrades air quality, damages trails and destroys homes and other resources. In 2017, humans accounted for 45% of all wildfire starts in the state. This is why we’re seeking the public’s help to prevent human-caused wildfires.”
Hiatt said the exhibit will provide children and adults with information about how to plan and prepare for fire season. “We know from historical records that wildfire can occur in almost any part of Oregon, so nowhere is completely immune. The key to prevention is educating yourself about common activities that can potentially start fires and how to lower that risk,” said Hiatt.
Throughout the exhibit’s run, there will be maps on display showing where wildfires have occurred in Oregon in recent years. There will also be posters and brochures with tips on reducing wildfire risk.
The World Forestry Center is at 4033 SW Canyon Road in Portland. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday. Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors 62 and older and $5 for kids 18 to age 3. Children under age 3 get in free.