White City, Ore. — Fire and emergency crews from throughout Southern Oregon are preparing for an active fire season. This weekend, they’re gathering to show you the best way to protect yourself, when the forests start to burn.
“There’s only so much we can do to protect a home,” said John O’Connor.
O’Connor works for the Cregon Department of Forestry, as a Cohesive Wildfire Strategy Coordinator. He monitors all of Southwestern Oregon, but this weekend, his focus is your yard. Particularly, the risk of flammable vegetation.
“You can have a lot of nice looking plants around your home,” O’Connor said. “It’s just how you space them, and the types of plants you use.”
That’s the goal of the Southern Oregon Firewise Expo. This Friday and Saturday, fire agencies from all over the region are coming together with a single mission: To protect your home as we get closer to fire season.
“One of the biggest misconceptions we have is people think you can’t have anything around your home, any kind of plants, any kind of greenery… which, that’s totally untrue,” O’Connor said.
At the event, fire safe plants and building materials will be on display, and things might even get heated.
“Weather permitting, hopefully we’re going to try to burn them and show some of the examples of some of the better landscaping materials,” O’Connor said.
You can even sign up to have your home inspected for potential risks. The firefighting community is offering everything for free, to make sure the community is safe this summer.
“If they can leave out of here, with a little bit of peace of mind, knowing they’ve done everything they can do to protect their home, then I guess we’ve accomplished something,” O’Connor said.
The event is happening both Friday and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fire District Three Office at 8333 Agate road in White City.
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