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BEND, OR -- Deschutes County residents are encouraged to get their property ready for wildfire season, by creating a defensible space. "It’s a space around your home that has fire resistant landscaping," says Project Wildfire's Alison Green, "It’s irrigated, and really making sure that pine needles are out of your gutters, the leaf litter is not up against your wood siding, you don’t have brush underneath trees that will then carry fire into those trees. And, really making sure that ‘lean, mean and green’ needs to be around your home right before fire season hits."

 

Green says clearing away risky vegetation doesn’t mean you can’t have any plants near your home, "If we were completely surrounded by gravel we’d be a lot safer, but we want our landscaping. So, it doesn’t need to be a moonscape, but the correct plant choices can give you an 85-90% chance of surviving a wildfire." She tells KBND News, "Making sure that they are plants that have a higher moisture content; they stay greener through the summer – like wax currant, for instance; native plant but it’s fire resistant. You can have Ponderosa Pines in your front yard, but making sure that they’re limbed, that they’re healthy and they don’t have all this crazy pitch and stuff coming off of them." Click HERE for a list of fire resistant plants. 

 

To help people get rid of needles, shrubs and limbs, Project Wildfire and FireFree offer free yard debris disposal events at local transfer stations through the next month; the first take place this weekend in Sunriver and at the Westside Collection Site in Bend. Click HERE for a full list of events in Bend, Redmond, Sisters, La Pine and Sunriver. 
 
To hear our recent full conversation with Project Wildfire and the Deschutes National Forest, click HERE
 

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