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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Central Oregon is Home to the First and 100th Oregon Firewise Community

August 10, 2016

Contact: Alison Green, Program Director
    Project Wildfire, FireFree
    541-419-1116

Deschutes County’s residents in the wildland urban interface (WUI) have been embracing their responsibility of living with wildfire for almost two decades. Now not only is Deschutes County proudly the home to the very first Firewise Community in the state but also to the 100th Firewise Community. Fall River Estates south of Sunriver was the very first Firewise Community in Oregon and Deschutes County twelve years ago. Squaw Creek Canyon Estates outside of Sisters is now the 100th Community to commit to their own wildfire preparedness by being recognized as a Firewise Community.

Since 2002, The Firewise Communities, USA Recognition Program has empowered neighbors to work together in reducing their wildfire risk. After 14 short years, the growing network includes over 1,300 recognized Firewise Communities in 40 states nationwide who are taking action and ownership in preparing and protecting their homes against the threat of wildfire. Communities develop an action plan that guides their residential risk reduction activities, while engaging and encouraging their neighbors to become active participants in building a safer place to live.

“Wildfire preparedness is an ongoing process for all the residents of central Oregon,” says Alison Green, Program Coordinator for Project Wildfire.  “The Firewise program allows for the grass root movements within each neighborhood to increase the responsibility of each individual resident to create defensible space at their own home and increase the chances of the whole neighborhood surviving a wildfire,” she adds.

"We are honored to host this event as the 100th Oregon Firewise Community in the Sisters area, but everyone should know that it took thousands of residents throughout the state of Oregon to reach to this milestone,” says Gary Marshall, Fire Safety Manager for Sisters Camp Sherman Fire. “By taking personal responsibility for their wildfire preparedness, residents reduced flammable vegetation near their homes and replaced flammable roofing with fire resistive materials to better adapted to wildfire in central Oregon," Marshall adds.

On August 12th, 2016 at 11:30 am Squaw Creek Canyon Estates will be hosting a celebration for all the partners and local Firewise Communities at the fire station in the community. Station 703 is located at 17233 Buffalo Drive, Sisters, OR. All are welcome to join to celebrate central Oregon’s continued commitment to Firewise and wildfire preparedness overall.

For more information on Firewise visit www.firewise.org and for more information on Project Wildfire visit www.projectwildfire.org.

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