The FireFree program is constantly evolving to bring valuable education to the public so that residents can prepare themselves for wildland fires. In our effort to respond to your questions, here is a list of some of the common inquiries.
What is the most vulnerable part of my home?
Your roof system – the roofing material, the gutters, the fascia boards and any vents where flying embers or “fire brands” can land and ignite your home. Composition, metal or tile roofing is a better choice for non-combustible roofing. Gutters filled with pine needles and other debris provide the perfect nest for fire brands so keep your gutters clean to prevent possible ignition of the fascia boards which can lead fire directly under your roofing material and ignite the structure underneath.
What is the home ignition zone?
Your home ignition zone is the area directly surrounding your home that can allow fire to travel to your home and ignite it. Take steps now to reduce flammable vegetation and combustible materials to increase your chances that your home will survive.
I pay taxes so why can’t the fire department defend my home?
It’s simply a matter of supply and demand. There are not enough fire trucks and personnel to protect every home. The truth is, there will never be enough trucks to protect each and every home in a wildland fire situation. During a wildland fire, fire agencies are maxed out and concentrate on halting the fire’s advancement. Fire officials will “triage” homes as they assess neighborhoods in the path of a fire. Is your home going to survive? Has it been prepared for wildland fire? Which homes do they attempt to protect, and which do they pass by? There is no time to prepare individual homes against the oncoming threat. Take responsibility now, and prepare your home ignition zone for wildland fire.
Is wildfire really a threat here in central Oregon?
In an average year, central Oregon firefighting agencies combat 452 lightning-caused fires on 38,000 acres. While the majority of these fires are contained relatively quickly, a handful escapes the most gallant efforts and the potential for catastrophic loss is right in our back yards. All of Deschutes County has been declared a Wildfire Hazard Zone. That means any place you live and work here is at substantial risk of wildland fire. A careless cigarette, fireworks, or debris burning can all ignite a brush fire that rapidly overtakes a neighborhood. A few hours of prep time can save your home and valuables.