BEND, OR -- Central Oregonians are encouraged to start preparing now for the upcoming wildfire season, despite our tough winter and wet spring. Deschutes County Forester Ed Keith says homeowners shouldn't get complacent, "Fire season’s a little hard to predict. But, I always tell people we always have a fire season in Central Oregon. It’s always hot and dry in July and August; and then it’s just a matter of how many lightning storms we get, how many human-caused fires we get. But, we’re always going to have that weather that brings us into fire season, here in Central Oregon, so we have to be prepared in advance."
Keith tells KBND News the most important thing to focus on in the spring is creating defensible space. "That’s that area from your back step to about 30’ from your house, where it really needs to be cleaned up every single year. You need to remove flammable brush, get the pine needles off of your roofs and gutters and thin any small trees, do your pruning, so that if a fire should happen your home will be much safer."
The Fire Free
program takes place over the next month, to help residents get rid of all that debris, "Each year, the county partners with Project Wildfire to offer Fire Free dates throughout the county, and really throughout the region. Fire Free, right now, in Bend is going on. That’s available for free drop off of all your yard debris at Knott Landfill, and that runs through this Sunday the 14th." Transfer stations in Redmond, Sisters and La Pine offer free yard debris disposal June second and third. Click HERE
To hear our full conversation with County Forester Ed Keith click HERE
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