For Immediate Release Contact: Ashley Lara 541-831-2778
Date: October 14, 2015
Jackson County Fire District 3 Earns National Firewise Recognition
Jackson County Fire District 3 (JCFD3) recently earned Firewise Communities/ USA recognition from the National Firewise Communities Program due to efforts to reduce the vulnerability of homes and landscape to wildfire.
Idlewood Mobile Home Park, located in Eagle Point worked with JCFD3 and Oregon Department of Forestry to develop a Firewise risk assessment to address the communities’ vulnerability to wildfire. The plan was completed in early June 2015 and residents quickly began work on the outlined priorities.
“Firewise Communities USA is a grassroots program that puts that burden back on the landowner to be proactive on wildfire prevention. Southwest Oregon is number one in the state for wildfire activity; fire will always be a part of our natural ecosystem, so it makes sense to prepare for it” states Ashley Lara, Fire & Life Safety Specialist at District 3.
The Firewise Communities Program encourages local solutions for safety by involving homeowners in taking individual responsibility for preparing their homes from the risk of wildfire. Firewise is one element of the Fire Adapted Communities initiative – a national effort that engages homeowners, firefighters, civic leaders and land managers to reduce wildfire risk in communities throughout the United States.
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Brush, grass or forest fires don’t have to be disasters. The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Firewise Communities program encourages local solutions for wildfire safety by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, firefighters, and others in the effort to protect people and property from wildfire risks.
“Achieving Firewise recognition is not an easy process. Idlewood Mobile Home Park has done an exceptional job of creating an internal Firewise Board and implementing the highest priorities from the Firewise risk assessment, “ said Ashley Lara. “ With the help of the Oregon Department of Forestry Fuels Crew, Idlewood was able to remove flammable vegetation such as juniper, arborvitae, blackberry and cypress varieties. Preparing homes and landscapes for wildfire will increases the chance that a home will survive when a wildfire occurs.”
When adequately prepared, a house can withstand a wildfire without the intervention of the fire service. In fact, a house and its surrounding community can be both Firewise and compatible with the area’s ecosystem. The Firewise Communities/USA recognition program enables communities in all parts of the United States to achieve a high level of protection against wildland/urban interface fire as well as sustainable ecosystem balance. Firewise Communities/USA program provides residents of the wildland/urban interface with the knowledge and skill necessary to make it happen.
For more information, please visit: www.firewise.org.