Sarah Lightley/ The Broadside
This Summer, the State of Oregon has been battling multiple forest fires all over the state. Many Bend residents have experienced the looming smoke that blocks out the sun and have experienced increased hazardous air quality levels. The fires may not be looming over our neighborhoods, but they take out many communities close by and affect our friends and family. Many Oregon citizens may be looking for reliable resources to answer questions on the fires’ whereabouts and potential road closures. Also, the growing need for help in these areas of Central Oregon is evident.
These websites are directly linked to the National Forests indicated below with updates on potential alerts and road closures.
The most current information on statewide evacuation information can be found at the Oregon Office of Emergency Management’s interactive database: https://www.oregon.gov/oem/emops/Pages/RAPTOR.aspx.
Deschutes National Forest Alerts and Closures: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/deschutes/alerts-notices
Willamette National Forest Alerts and Closures: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/willamette/alerts-notices
Mt. Hood National Forest Alerts and Closures: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/mthood/alerts-notices
For additional fire information, these websites can be helpful when traveling through areas that have fires:
Facebook (only for the Lionshead fire): www.facebook.com/LionsheadFire
In this challenging time, people who are evacuated and are directly affected by the fires will need help. If you would like to help, consider The Red Cross website below and donate to assist in the wildfires’ relief fund.
The following are some helpful tips when protecting your home from wildfires. By reducing the potentially flammable materials from around your house, you can reduce the chance of an ember catching and starting a fire.
Preparing Homes for Wildfires:
· Clean roofs and gutters
· Replace or repair any loose or missing shingles
· Reduce embers that could pass through vents in the eaves by installing 1/8-inch metal mesh screening
· Clean debris from exterior attic vents
· Repair or replace damaged or loose window screens, box-in areas below patios and decks.
· Move any flammable material away from wall exteriors – mulch, flammable plants, leaves and needles, firewood piles – anything that can burn! Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches.