Fuels Reduction

Not defensible from fire

Fire defensible

Each year more and more people move into previously uninhabited forest and range land rural areas of Deschutes County. Deschutes County has dry, hot summer weather that increases the wildfire danger. In addition, these remote areas have just as high of a risk of structural fires as the urban area, yet longer response times, limited water sources, difficult terrain, and unpaved roads all increase the risk of losing your home to fire.

To assist in fighting fire in your neighborhood, have a map of your property with volatile spots, (fuel tanks, stacked dry wood, etc.) water sources and access roads available to share with firefighters.

Simple Fire Prevention Measures:

  • Maintain 30' of green lawn or fire resistant plants around your home. Mow grass to less than 4".
  • Prune the lower branches of the trees below 8 feet to remove "ladder fuels."
  • Protect large trees by removing fuels (shrubs and woody debris) under them.
  • Trim branches away from your roof and house. Keep gutters clean of debris.
  • Trim branches along driveway at least 14' tall and wide so emergency vehicles can access the property.
  • Replace wood shake roofs. Screen vents and areas under short decks with metal mesh 1/4 inch or smaller. consult a fire specialist if the deck is over 3' high.
  • Store firewood at least 20' away from your house during fire season.
  • Water and firefighting tools should be available and ready.
  • Maintain good access to your home and ensure that your address is visible and easy to read. Your address should be clearly posted at each rural intersection or road with an arrow under your address.

Our district will provide cost share information/opportunities through state/federal and local organizations. Contact your Conservation Technician for immediate assistance at 541-923-2204 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Click Here for OSU Extention's Fire-Resistant Plants for Home Landscapes: Selecting Plants that may reduce your risk for Wildfire.

For more information, try these internet resources as well: www.firefree.org or www.odf.state.or.us.