Firewise / Wildfire Preparedness
Welcome to wildfire country. Southwest Oregon has the highest wildfire risk in the state. The steep forested terrain with wet winters followed by extremely dry summers set the stage for potential devastating wildfires every year. Josephine and Jackson Counties consistently experience the highest occurrence of wildfire in the state. In 2018, the Klondike Fire was the largest in Oregon at 175,258 acres. This was a lightning strike caused fire. Wildland fires don't only occur where there is forest vegetation, but include grasslands, brush, and landscaping. An outdoor wildfire may occur in your backyard and put yourself, your family, community and firefighters at risk.
As the Grants Pass area continues to grow, the problem will only get worse. Fires are a part of the natural ecology, living adjacent to the wilderness means living with a constant threat of fires. Fire, by nature, is an unpredictable and often uncontrollable force. We need to prepare our property and ourselves for future wildfires. It's not a question of if, but when the next wildfire event will occur.
- to protect your home and property in the Firewise / Home Preparedness section.
- your efforts can combine with the efforts of your neighbors to have your neighborhood benefit from being recognized as a Firewise /USA Community.
- to prepare yourself and your family when a wildfire threatens your neighborhood and learn how to safely evacuate in the Be Ready, Be Set, Go section.
See how this preparation is an important part to help Grants Pass become a Fire Adapted Community.
Advance preparation is the reason why wildfire preparedness collaboration and outreach programs are such an important part of a community's overall approach to becoming more adapted to wildfire. The goal is always to maximize the protection of lives and property, while also enhancing emergency responder safety and fire fighter effectiveness during a wildfire event.
Congratulations to our Wildfire Preparedness Day champions!!!
The following projects were completed by residents from the following Firewise Communities:
- Cathedral Hills Estate- Wildfire workshop for residents with speakers/demonstrations from forestry agency, fire department or emergency management office.
- College Heights - Removal of vegetation by prescribed burning and chipping over 58 cubic yards. The chipping project was small trees and branches the community members had cleared. Over 1,000 hours of volunteer time.
- Crescent & B Street - Completed a National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. 30 cubic yards of vegetation removed.
- Knollwood/Buckskin – Removal of 60 cubic yards of trees, shrubs, leaves and undergrowth. Thinning and clearing of properties was completed.
- New Hope Estates - Removed 28 trees within our area, most of them dead. Prescribed burns of limbs and leaves. Hauled several 5x8 trailer loads to green waste recycling site.
- Wildrose Lane - Coordinated a community-wide awareness/education activity that increases wildfire risk reduction and overall preparedness. HOA meeting and community wide presentation that detailed the need and importance for individual wildfire preparedness.
- Wallace Lane Neighborhood - Residents participated in a volunteer mitigation activity for a senior or disabled neighbor. Coordinated a community-wide awareness/education activity that increases wildfire risk reduction actions and overall preparedness. 6 cubic yards of vegetation removed.
Many outside fires in Oregon are caused by improper debris burning or sparks from power equipment use.
Read the Yard Debris Removal & Equipment Use - Fire Safety brochure for tips on how to safely dispose of your yard debris.
Recreational fires (for cooking or recreational purposes only) are allowed in the City of Grants Pass provided the rules and regulations on the linked pamphlet are followed.
Recreational Fire Guidelines (PDF)