What is a Firewise Community?
With adequate planning and cooperation among varying interests, wildfires can occur without disastrous loss of life, property and resources. This is the vision of the Firewise Communities Program –
- With little or no preparation before a wildfire event, communities loose much. However, with an action plan and regular attention to community wildfire mitigation, wildfire can occur with no lasting effect on homeowners.
- Firewise Communities/USA provides up-to-date, take-action information to homeowners and communities that helps them change the situation. Residents who participate in the Firewise process create an action plan that commits them to a sustained program of wildfire mitigation that is generally both physically doable and cost-effective.
- One of the most important things Firewise Communities/USA participants learn is that neighbors can help neighbors – and that they are often inextricably linked together in their mitigation solutions.
- An added benefit of participation in the Firewise Communities/USA program is that communities receive continuing support because of the communication that occurs among the Firewise Board, the local fire department and state or federal wildfire agency representatives.
- The action plan created by each community is implemented via annual Firewise Day events (local mitigation activities) and, thus, wildfire readiness improves in the long term.
Adapted from Firewise Communities/USA Recognition Program Guide
Plan for Evacuation
- We would immediately assist traffic out of Baker Rd
- We would notify Knife River and ODOT that we need to open Brookwood Blvd (we have emergency contact info)
- Once that is done we would allow people to leave down Brookswood (hopefully those north of Baker Rd in Zone C)
- We would open the gate and Frank Pennock Ln for Zone A
Click here for the DRW Evacuation Map.
DRW Earns National Recognition For Wildfire Preparedness
March 1, 2013 - Deschutes River Woods has been recognized as a Firewise Communities/USA site by the national Firewise Communities program for its efforts to reduce the vulnerability of homes and landscapes to wildfire.
“This award is the culmination of ten-plus years of effort on the part of DRW residents to improve the health of the forest we live in and at the same time reduce the probability of catastrophic loss from the next wildfire event in our area. Many long-time residents still remember the Awbrey Hall fire’s devastating effects in DRW and don’t want to see that repeated, so they are taking measures to create defensible space around their homes and by volunteering for Firewise events in their neighborhood.” Misha Williams, DRWNA President
The DRWNA worked with the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) to conduct a wildfire hazard assessment and develop a plan to address safety concerns. Residents then worked together to implement the plan.
To receive Firewise Communities/USA recognition, Deschutes River Woods met a rigorous set of requirements. The community completed the following activities:
- Worked with local fire and/or forestry agencies (Project Wildfire, ODF, Deschutes County Rural Fire Protection District #2) to remove flammable vegetation from around their homes and other neighborhood structures.
- Held an informational event (Annual All-Neighborhood Meetings in July of each year) during which Firewise information was distributed and videos were shown and discussed.
- Conducted numerous community meetings to explain and educate the community about the Firewise Communities plan.
- Completed several ‘sweat-equity’ defensible space grant projects that helped residents dispose of tons of woody debris at no charge.
- Created a ‘Firewise Demonstration Lot’ at the corner of Baker and Cinder Butte Roads.
"Achieving Firewise recognition is not a quick or easy process. Deschutes River Woods has done an outstanding job of creating a Firewise Task Force and implementing Firewise principles, said Michelle Steinberg, support manager of the Firewise Communities program. “By preparing homes, structures, and landscapes before a wildfire occurs, DRW has dramatically increased the chance that homes and structures will be protected when a wildfire occurs.”