July and record setting heat are around the corner. Are you ready for wildfire? This is the time to be sure that firewood has been moved away from your home, the areas immediately adjacent to your foundation and underneath your deck are clean from debris and mulch (when is the last time you looked under your deck to see what an ember could ignite?), and that your roof and gutters are clean of debris. Trim back overhanging tree branches, clear dead vegetation, and keep your grass cut short. Make the area around your home defensible and a place where fire activity will decrease, not increase, due to overgrown and fire-prone vegetation. Other easy suggestions can be found here.
Please take a moment to know how to stay informed about wildfires: these are sites to bookmark or enter in your phone.
· If you see smoke, call the Wildfire Hotline at 541-552-2490. It is a pre-recorded message with fire and smoke information that is updated as conditions change.
· Register your cell phone with the Citizen Alert program. This service will notify you by text or call if we have an emergency, including a wildfire evacuation. Local landlines are already registered, but if you only have a cell phone, you have to register your number to receive the alerts. Also, be aware of our local 1700 AM Emergency Broadcast radio station.
· For preparedness information, please Like the Ashland Firewise Facebook page and follow on Twitter. Great info, photos and information are posted here daily that can help keep you informed and prepared during fire season.
Lastly, please help to keep your community and neighborhood safe by respecting the ban on fireworks in the City, and pass the word to friends and neighbors. Did you know that personal fireworks injured 8600 people and caused 15,000 fires across the US in 2010? Because of our concern for the safety of our citizens, visitors, buildings and forest, personal fireworks and sky lanterns are not allowed in the city of Ashland any time of the year. Please respect this ordinance and do your part to protect our city and watershed from catastrophic fire. Fireworks are exciting and create a great show to watch…..when lit by professionals. Have a safe and happy 4th of July!
Thanks to all of you who have strived to make your home and neighborhood safer from the threat of wildfire by removing hazardous vegetation on your property or around your neighborhood. These actions do make a difference when a wildfire strikes and embers are in the air. Ashland’s 12 nationally recognized Firewise Communities are a testament to the commitment Ashland residents share towards preparedness.
Remember that we all play a role in being prepared for wildfire. Have a safe summer season.
Ali True/Firewise Communities Coordinator
Ashland Fire & Rescue