FireFree demo planned near Hillside Park
Apr 13,2007 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

In an effort to educate the community about creating a defensible space around their homes to reduce wildfire risk, a FireFree Fuels Reduction Demonstration project is scheduled for Tuesday, April 17. The project site is located above Hillside Park on 12th Street in Bend.

By creating a minimum of 30 feet of defensible space around a home, homeowners can increase their chances of their home surviving a catastrophic wildfire.

This interagency cooperative project, between Bend Parks and Recreation, the City of Bend, Awbrey Butte Neighborhood Association, and Bend Fire & Rescue and Deschutes County Weed/Vegetation Department, will demonstrate how homeowners can establish a FireFree zone around their homes.

The objective of the “before and after” fuels reduction project is to offer citizens an opportunity to learn how to create and maintain defensible space around their homes, while retaining aesthetic qualities. Defensible space can be created using existing landscape, without creating a “moonscape” look. This reduces the risk and increases the chance of a home surviving a catastrophic wildfire.

A FireFree demonstration project sign has been posted near the site, offering citizens a glimpse of the dense, flammable underbrush and vegetation before the reduction project is initiated.

In addition, as part of the FireFree program, citizens can bring their yard debris to the Deschutes County Knott Landfill free of charge, for nine consecutive days, beginning April 21st through April 29th.

April marks the 10th anniversary of the FireFree program, which was created in 1997 following two devastating wildfires in Bend, which destroyed homes and consumed thousands of acres of land.