Wildfires can happen here: Take Steps Now to Reduce Risks
It’s important for property owners to take steps to help protect your home and land from potential wildfires this summer.
During a wildfire, time is crucial and resources are limited. What you’ve done before a fire strikes may determine whether firefighters are able to save your home and other structures on your property.
Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue has taken deliberate steps in the past 20 years to ensure a quick and effective response to wildfire, including investing in specialized wildland vehicles and equipment. Firefighters also participate in hands-on training.
This is the perfect time to create a 30-foot defensible space or safety zone around your home that may help firefighters safely protect your home from an encroaching fire.
To create this space, homeowners are encouraged to take the following steps:
- De-limb trees at least 10 feet up from the ground and cut back tree limbs hanging over your roof.
- Trim branches that are within 10 feet of a chimney.
- Consider replacing wood shakes or shingles on the roof with non-combustible or fire-resistant materials.
- Remove leaves, brush, and other debris from your gutters, rooftop, and underneath decks and crawlspaces.
- Regularly mow and water lawns and other green belts on your property. Keep your landscaping well pruned and watered.
- Plant low-growing, fire-resistant plants such as groundcover, perennials, and annuals near your home. Plant individual shrubs and hardwood trees at least 10 feet from your home and other structures.
- Store firewood and other combustibles at least 100 feet from your home.
Ensure firefighters can quickly find your home by posting your address at the beginning of a long driveway. Make sure your street is named or numbered and a sign is posted at each street intersection of your driveway or road.
If you need a rural address sign, call 503-697-9418.
Access to your property is also crucial. To ensure crews can safely respond, cut back low-hanging tree limbs and clear dense vegetation and debris from the road or driveway. Driveways should be 20 feet wide and have a minimum clearance of 15 feet overhead.
For more information about wildfire safety tips and additional preventative measures, visit www.tvfr.com.