Southern Oregon attracts residents and tourists for many reasons, but our climate and natural surroundings are at the top of most lists. Take Jacksonville, Oregon, for example. Jacksonville experiences an average of nearly 200 sunny days per year, and an average high temperature of 88.8℉ each July. Stunning vistas of forested mountains are visible in every direction. These features attract many landowners to live and farm in rural areas. The rainfall in Jacksonville is a full 15 inches less than the national average, making this beautiful environment susceptible to wildfires. Because of this, property owners must prioritize fire mitigation for Southern Oregon properties.
A hot, dry climate is optimal for wildfires. Grasses, leaves, evergreen needles, mulch, and downed timber turn into kindling. All it takes is a spark from a tossed cigarette or unextinguished campfire to set a mountainside or field ablaze. With a few steps, homeowners can help ensure their properties will not be destroyed if a wildfire is nearby. Prevention is the best treatment and insurance against damage and loss.
How can homeowners adequately protect their properties from wildfires?
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has several wildfire prevention tips for rural property owners, such as:
- Removing plant debris. Property owners should collect and dispose of downed leaves, pine needles, branches, cut grass, and other flammable plant debris on or around the property. The first five feet around surrounding structures are a priority. When these materials dry out in the sun, they can easily ignite and spread fire across the land.
- Keep dry material away from covered spaces. By screening the area underneath decks and foundations, these areas will be less likely to combustible materials like dry leaves and branches.
- Perform regular roof inspections and maintenance. Wooden shingles are highly flammable and should be replaced with another type of non-combustible shingle or tile when possible.
- Irrigate your property. Irrigating all of the land may not be feasible, but keeping land and vegetation green and healthy near the home and other structures will help abate spreading flames.
- Prune the trees. Tree limbs should be no closer than six to ten feet from the ground. Removing lower limbs will stop flames from traveling down a tree and onto the ground. Dead trees should be cut down and removed. Areas of dense trees should be thinned out to prevent flames from jumping from one tree to the next.
- Keep woodpiles at least 30 feet away from the home. Firewood and building materials will dry out during the summer. It’s best to keep this source of fuel far away from structures.
- Dispose of clippings. Refrain from keeping large piles of grass clippings, cut branches, tree stumps, or other vegetation debris on your property. Many cities have recycling centers that will take loads of plant material debris for free or with a minimal fee.
- Keep grasses cut and brush clear within 100 feet of any homes or structures. Creating clean and manicured spaces around structures will help prevent property fires from destroying buildings and personal belongings.
- Have two ways to exit a property. Some rural properties are very remote. If there’s only one way in and out and it becomes covered in flames, evacuating your family and your livestock may be impossible. Always have a secondary method to exit your property if needed.
Make fire mitigation for Southern Oregon properties easy with a call to Excavation Oregon.
Excavation Oregon is experienced in managing rural properties in Southern Oregon and will help you mitigate the risk of wildfire to your lands. Excavation Oregon will identify problem areas, create fire breaks and access roads, place on-site emergency water tanks, and reduce flammable ground fuels like buck brush, blackberry bushes, and fallen limbs. Our crews will conduct tree thinning and pruning to lessen the risk of traveling flames. We’ll even burn or haul away the combustible materials and take care of your chipping, mowing, and mulching needs. Give us a call today at 541-890-5553 to schedule an estimate.