Wildfire Safety

Keeping Safe from Wildfire

  • Wildfire is a regular and natural occurrence in Central Oregon (just like the winter snow) so we must prepare our homes and lives.
  • Have a “Go Kit” (for when evacuation is necessary) and sign up with reverse 911 with Deschutes County 911 https://www.deschutes.org/9-1-1-Service-District/Citizen-Emergency-Notification-System-(CENS).aspx  for emergency notifications.
  • Prepare your home and property to survive a wildfire.

The Three Zones of Defensible Space

ZONE 1 next to your home


  • Keep your roof gutters and decks clear of pine needles and combustible debris.
  • Keep bark much, combustible shrubs and bushes (like juniper), trees and dry and dead plants away from your home.
  • Keep under decks and eves clear or screened to prevent entry of fire embers.

ZONE 2 out to 30 feet

  • Use low flammability landscapes – i.e. hardscaping (gravel, stone, and pavers), irrigated and mowed lawns, or natural bunch grasses.
  • Promote Aspen, Willow and Ponderosa Pine as the preferred natural tree species 
  • Keep fire wood out of this zone during wildfire season

ZONE 3 out to 100 feet

  • Thin so tree canopies due not touch.
  • Trim branches up 8 to 12 feet (park like setting).
  • Remove all under brush and ladder fuels other than natural bunch grasses.
  • Promote Ponderosa Pine tree species (fire resistive and adaptable) over Lodge Pole Pine (higher fire vulnerability and risk).
  • Evaluate your own progress in preparing for the next wildfire by using the 35 point check list/self-assessment by clicking on this link
  • The La Pine Fire District started wildfire structural assessments in the summer of 2014 and has completed most of the west side of the district. This effort will continue each summer. Check how your home may have been rated by the professional firefighters on oregonrsg.org.

Free Wildfire Fuels Reduction Assistance for Low-Income or Disabled Homeowners

The Upper Deschutes River Communities has partnered with Council on Aging to provide free wildfire fuels reduction services for low-income senior or disabled homeowners in the Upper Deschutes River and La Pine Community Wildfire Protection Plan areas. Click here for a printable flyer describing the program. Click here to print the Defensible Space Program Application form with age and income requirements. To participate in this program, print and fill out the application form and mail to Council on Aging. A representative from UDRC will asses the property and propose a fuels reduction project to improve defensible space for a wildfire. For more information visit www.udrc.org.

FireFree Program

To learn more about increasing fire safety for your home, visit www.firefree.org