Prepare for wildfire season and protect your home and family

Wildfire season is here protect your home and family
Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Wildfire season is here and if you live near wild lands, whether forest, brush, or grasslands, your home may be at risk. Projections from forestry agencies and the National Interagency Fire Center predict another severe wildfire season for the state in 2018, and trends suggest this may continue.

Protect your home and family from wildfire by creating 30 to 100 feet of fire-resistant space around your home to prevent fires from starting near or spreading to your home. You can do this by trimming or removing brush that creates a direct path for fire to reach your home, pruning overhanging tree branches, and keeping your grass and weeds cut low. Learn more about protecting your home at co.benton.or.us/planning/page/wildfire-protection.

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is sharing the following smoke safety messages with partners and the public across Oregon:

  • The most effective way people can protect themselves from wildfire smoke is to limit exposure.
  • Stay indoors whenever possible with the windows and doors shut.
  • Reduce other sources of indoor air pollution such as smoke from tobacco, wood-burning stoves and burning candles.
  • Use a high-efficiency (HEPA) or electrostatic precipitating (ESP) air-cleaning filter, if available.
  • Avoid vacuuming, which can stir up dust.
  • When driving is necessary, drive with windows closed and air conditioning set to recirculate.

For current air quality and smoke information, please visit the Oregon Smoke Blog at www.oregonsmoke.blogspot.com.

Surgical masks and bandanas don’t filter fine particles. Air pollutants like wildfire smoke affect people’s health, particularly those in groups most vulnerable to injury from exposure to fine particulate matter:

  • People with asthma or other chronic respiratory disease.
  • People with cardiovascular disease.
  • People 65 and older.
  • Infants and children.

Additional resources to protect your home and family from wildfire and smoke are available online at https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Wildfire/Preparing-homes-for-wildfire and http://wildfireoregondeptofforestry.blogspot.com.