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Alarm Box: Get a free wildfire home risk assessment in Ashland

Ashland Fire & Rescue and the Wildfire Safety Commission report that trained volunteers are now available to perform free wildfire risk assessments for residents inside the Ashland city limits.

After the Almeda fire, we all want to prevent such a tragedy from striking our community, and this starts by each person taking responsibility for creating a landscape and home that does not ignite during a fire. If a house doesn’t ignite, it doesn’t burn … and it doesn’t ignite a neighboring house. Preventing a fire isn’t rocket science, and there are many low-cost and easy chores you can start on right now.

After the heat wave and drought this past year, we can feel the effect of a changing climate. Recent fires and smoke are a continual reminder that it’s not if we will experience a fire, but when. By getting an assessment now and acting on recommendations from our trained assessors, you’re starting the process of adapting to a new way of living … something we all must do to preserve our community and keep our families and homes safe as wildfires increase in size and intensity in our region.

Many people feel a sense of dread when thinking about climate change and wildfires, but taking control of the situation with knowledge and a plan to act can feel empowering and can actually save your home.

Volunteer training was adopted and modified from Oregon State University Extension Service’s Citizen Fire Academy, in combination with field training and coaching by wildfire mitigation specialists with Ashland Fire & Rescue. All volunteers have passed a background check performed by the city of Ashland and completed a training task book.

The volunteers are all are passionate learners and care greatly for our community. Each has already dedicated over 100 hours to training and personal development for this opportunity to advise fellow residents on the wildfire risks associated with their property and how to reduce those risks. They will help educate you about defensible space and the home ignition zone, and how that approach can keep your home safe, even during a severe fire.

If you would like a free on-site wildfire risk assessment of your home, see www.ashland.or.us/FormPageBS.asp?FormID=280 to fill out a request, and a volunteer will contact you to schedule your assessment. To leave a voicemail request, call 541-552-2231 and provide your name, address you’d like assessed, and contact information, and we’ll get back to you to schedule your wildfire risk assessment.