Tips: How to protect your home from wildfires

Tips: How to protect your home from wildfires

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on July 14, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 14 at 7:49 PM

PORTLAND – As temperatures climb this time of year, so does the risk of wildfires.

This is especially a concern for people living in communities with thick brush or trees.

Storm Smith is the fire prevention manager for the Hillsboro Fire Department. He gave KGW a tour of a rural home, with tips on how to help prevent the spread of fires there.

Don Kane has done a good job of cutting back trees and clearing out plants that could help a fire run up to the sides of his home. (See photo above.)

But Smith added that many other homeowners don’t do so well and need added warnings from fire crews to get the job done.

“We're concerned about homes that are built in and nestled among the trees. So we do come into the areas around here and remind folks to clear that,” Smith said. “If they can, clear out those big heavy fuels, the big trees away from their house, clear out that underbrush that might transmit the fire right up to the edge of their house. Get that defensible space cleared out.”

The most destructive fire in Oregon right now is called the Moccasin wildfire. So far, it’s destroyed six homes and 14 other buildings northeast of Klamath Falls.

The wildfire started Sunday and grew to more than 2500 acres on Monday.

Another destructive blaze, the Shaniko Butte Fire is located 15 miles from Warm Springs and has destroyed one home. An additional 30 other structures were threatened by the blaze Monday.

In Washington County, officials ordered a ban on all burning, including backyard burning.

''With all that lightning we get, we'll get hold-over fires. They'll burn slowly, smoldering,” said Robin Demario with the NW Fire Coordination Center. “As the temperatures increase this week and conditions dry out, and as we get winds, those hold-over fires will flare up into larger fires which will become visible."

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