Becoming a Firewise Community in Central Oregon

Firewise USA

Central Oregon’s diverse landscape, marked by its lush forests and rugged terrain, brings with it the heightened risk of wildfires. As we continue to witness the profound impacts of these natural disasters, both ecologically and economically, the importance of proactive measures has never been more pronounced. In 2024, Central Oregon is taking significant steps toward becoming a Firewise community, a collective effort aimed at reducing the fire risks that threaten our homes and natural environments.

Understanding Firewise Principles

The Firewise USA program is an initiative led by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) aimed at empowering residents and community leaders to take charge of reducing wildfire risks around their homes and in their communities. The core principle of the Firewise program is simple: educate communities on sustainable fire management practices and encourage them to implement these practices in their daily lives.

For Central Oregon, adopting Firewise principles means understanding the specific conditions that contribute to wildfire in our area and taking targeted actions to mitigate these risks. These actions include modifying landscaping practices, using fire-resistant building materials, and engaging in regular property maintenance to minimize the availability of fuel around homes.

Steps Towards Firewise Certification

Achieving Firewise certification requires a community effort and a structured approach. Here are the steps that Central Oregon communities are undertaking:

  1. Assessment: Professional risk assessments are conducted to identify specific vulnerabilities to wildfires within our communities. These assessments often involve collaboration between homeowners, local fire authorities, and forestry experts.
  2. Action Plan: Based on the assessment, an action plan is developed. This plan includes detailed strategies and tasks tailored to reduce the community’s fire risk. Typical strategies include clearing dead underbrush, trimming trees, and installing fire breaks.
  3. Community Engagement: Education plays a critical role in the Firewise program. Workshops, seminars, and regular meetings keep the community informed and engaged. Topics often cover emergency preparedness, evacuation strategies, and effective fire response techniques.
  4. Investment: Communities invest in necessary resources and infrastructure improvements. This might include purchasing shared equipment for fire prevention or improving water supply systems for firefighting.
  5. Maintenance: Ongoing maintenance and monitoring ensure that the Firewise practices are up-to-date and evolving as conditions change. This continuous improvement cycle is vital for long-term success.

Benefits of Being Firewise

The benefits of becoming a Firewise community are substantial. Firstly, it significantly reduces the risk of property damage from wildfires, potentially lowering insurance premiums. Secondly, it fosters a sense of community as residents come together to protect their homes and natural surroundings. Finally, it contributes to the overall resilience of the region, making Central Oregon a safer place to live.


As we move forward into 2024, the commitment of Central Oregon communities to the Firewise program exemplifies a proactive approach to disaster readiness. By adopting and implementing Firewise practices, we are not only safeguarding our homes but also contributing to the preservation of our cherished landscapes. This is our call to action, an invitation to join hands in making Central Oregon a model Firewise community, prepared to face the challenges of wildfire with resilience and unity.

Call to Action

Are you ready to take part in making Central Oregon a safer place? Contact your local fire department or visit the Firewise USA website to learn how you can contribute to your community’s efforts. Together, we can make a difference.