Fire-Safe Your Home

Whether you’re in the suburban environment or living in the more rural reaches of Multnomah County, you need to be ready for fire near your home. In 1940 and Tree-branches-rubbing-on-roof1951 there were fires that burned through portions of the West Hills during dry conditions and high winds. To prepare for fire season, there are a few things you can do to reduce wildfire risk around your home.

• Keep debris such as dead leaves and twigs off of your roof and out of your gutters. Sparks can travel great distances from fires and ignite dry vegetation that gathers on or around your home.

• Also, keep debris and flammable items off or your wood decks. We’ve seen fires spread after a broom ignited by a spark.

• If you’re stackingfirewood for the winter, keep it at least 30 feet from the house

• Prune branches from trees that are touching your house or lying on the roof.

• Some plant species are highly flammable such as juniper. If you have these species within 20-30 feet from your home, consider replacing them with less flammable vegetation. Our invasive Armenian blackberry can cause a wildfire hazard as well, and could be replaced by native vegetation.

• Fires tend to move up slopes rather than down them, and many homes on NW Skyline, McNamee, Newberry and other roads are at the top of slopes leaving them susceptible to spreading fires.

• Keep access open to your home and property. In the event of an emergency, wildfire engines and trucks need to be able to drive up forest roads quickly.

Click here for a list of fire-resistant plants native to our District.

For more information on making your home fire-resistant, click here.

For further information on wildfire risk reduction contact Forest Conservationist Michael Ahr at or 503-238-4775, ext. 109.


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