The Forest Hills neighborhood, located on the western edge of the City of Grants Pass, includes 61 homes located on 38 acres. It has a moderate to steep slope in a northeasterly direction. Forest Hills is classified as a high-risk area for wildfire under the Oregon Forestland-Urban Interface Fire Protection Act.
On July 4, 2012, a wildfire came dangerously close to the Forest Hills neighborhood. As a result, residents decided to be proactive in protecting their neighborhood from future wildfire events.
With the assistance of the Grants Pass Firewise coordinator, residents formed a committee to initiate the Firewise Community process. A neighborhood assessment was conducted by the Oregon Department of Forestry to identify potential wildfire risks. The Forest Hills committee then developed an action plan to address these risks. Read the Forest Hills Community Assessment (PDF).
Several fire fuel reduction projects were completed using funds from a National Fire Plan grant and other sources. One of the projects was a concentration of dense vegetation on adjacent railroad property.
The community held its 1st Firewise Day event on May 18, 2013, to celebrate their accomplishments and to inform other residents on what their roles are in creating a safer neighborhood. This was the final step needed to apply for Firewise Community / USA status.
Firewise Community / USA
Forest Hills was awarded Firewise Community / USA status by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in June 2013. Forest Hills is the first neighborhood in Josephine County to receive this award. Through their efforts, the residents of Forest Hills have greatly reduced the wildfire danger in their neighborhood. View the Forest Hills Firewise Community Presentation (PDF).