“It can’t happen here.”

“It won’t happen to me.”

“I can’t believe it happened to me.”

It’s tempting to think that wildfire is just something in the news that we read about, or that the only people who have to worry about it live deep in the woods. But throughout the entire county, we live in a fire-adapted environment. This means that for thousands of years, fire frequently visited where our homes now stand, and just because these areas are no longer wildlands, fire knows no boundaries.

Your home might be miles away from the nearest town, nestled in the forest or, it could be right in the middle of Roseburg. In all cases, the risk of uncontrolled wildfire visiting your doorstep is very real.

The good news is we aren’t powerless against wildfire. Preparing for the eventuality of wildfire is the key to making it out on the other side with your home, property and life intact. Here in southwest Oregon, our challenge is wildfire, and understanding the risk and taking precautions is part of what it means to live here.

You wouldn’t want to live in San Francisco in a house that wasn’t reinforced for earthquakes, and you wouldn’t want to live here without a home and landscape treated to survive a blaze.

The OSU Extension Service is excited to offer two opportunities for Douglas County residents to engage in wildfire preparedness this fall. On Saturday, Sept. 9, the “Protect Your Home From Wildfire” workshop will be offered. This one-day program focuses on steps landowners can take to prepare their homes for wildfire by creating defensible space. Additionally, starting Thursday, Sep. 28, the “Citizen Fire Academy” program will be offered over the course of six weeks.

Citizen Fire Academy (CFA) is an educational series designed to help you understand the risks and responsibilities of living in a fire environment. You are provided with tangible strategies that you can use on your home, your land and, in your community, to reduce the risk of fire coming. And, if it does come, to improve the chances that what you care about will survive the blaze.

CFA topics include fire science, living in a fire environment, home protection strategies and fuels reduction methods. During the program, you will work toward completing a Wildfire Preparedness Plan for your property. Fire does not respect boundaries, and engaging with your neighbors and community is another important step in preparing for wildfire.

Registration for both the one-day “Protect Your Home From Wildfire” workshop, and the six-week series “Citizen Fire Academy,” is now open! Don’t get caught by surprise, and register before it’s too late. For more information, or to register, visit http://extension.oregonstate.edu/douglas/classes-events or call us at 541-672-4461.

Alicia Jones is the Forestry Extension Agent for OSU Extension Service of Douglas County. Alicia can be reached by e-mail at Alicia.Jones@oregonstate.edu or phone at 541-236-3002. Kara Baylog is a Forestry & Natural Resources Program Assistant with the OSU Extension Service in Jackson/Josephine Counties. Kara can be reached by e-mail at kara.baylog@oregonstate.edu.

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(2) comments

Mogie

I know a guy who built a pond to hold water since he lived well outside the city limits. He has a pump and all equipment needed. Shortly after finishing the pond he got a visit from some people that informed him they wanted to tax him because he had a pond. He told them it was for fire suppression but that didn't make any difference. So his fire prevention methods cost him money.

just me

put up a bird house and you will be taxed

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