Southern Oregon getting state recognition for new firewise communities

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Forestry says southwest Oregon has more new firewise communities than any other part of the state.

Five new neighborhoods in Ashland, Central Point, Jacksonville, and Shady Cove joined the national Firewise program last year.

In order to be a part of the program, communities have to commit themselves to reduce their wildfire risk. This includes spreading awareness about fire risks, creating defensible space, or getting a fire risk assessment of the neighborhood.

“The Obenchain and the Almeda fires literally sparked some new interest in working to reduce wildfire risk in the community,” Katie Gibble, Fire Adapted Communities Coordinator, said. “Particularly for folks who maybe haven’t thought about it as much before.”

Here are the new communities that joined the program in southern Oregon:

  • Ashland:
    • Glenn Vista Estates and Mill Pond Homeowners Association
  • Central Point:
    • Jackson Oaks Neighborhood Association
  • Jacksonville:
    • Timber Ridge Homeowners Association
  • Shady Cove:
    • Deerfield Park 1 and 2

Oregon is the second state with the highest number of firewise communities. In total, there are 182.

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Blakely McHugh is co-anchor of NBC5 News at Sunrise and spokesperson for In This Together, a suicide prevention initiative. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Blakely is a native of San Diego, CA. Blakely is excited to be in southern Oregon, a place that gets all the seasons and has similar temperatures to Arizona in the summer! When she’s not at work, you can find her relaxing at home watching TV and cuddling with her cat, Dallas. She also enjoys trying new places to eat and exploring the outdoors. Blakely loves meeting new people so if you see her out and about, say “hi!”
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