Be prepared for wildfire season

The 2500 Road Fire east of Depoe Bay in August of 2016 was the most recent wildfire to pose a significant threat to Lincoln County. A series of community presentations on wildfire readiness will be held around the county beginning next week to help prepare local residents, business owners and visitors. (News-Times file photo)

A report of a wildfire this week that included acreage in northeastern Lincoln County is an early reminder that fire season is upon us, and although we have been fortunate in recent years when it comes to the destructive potential of these events, it’s a good idea for each of us learn what steps we can take to be prepared.

This week’s Trojan Fire had spread to around 120 acres as of late Wednesday afternoon. Located about six miles south of the Van Duzer corridor near the Polk/Lincoln county line, firefighters were helped in their efforts by a change in the weather, and although the fire was not fully contained as of press time on Thursday, it did appear as the major threat had passed.

So what can we do to prepare? Educating ourselves about the issues is always a good place to start, and beginning next week, a series of community presentations on wildfire readiness will be held around the county. The Lincoln County Fire Defense Board, Lincoln County Sheriff's Office and Lincoln County Public Health are partnering to prepare local residents, business owners and visitors on the wildfire threat in our area and what people should do to prepare and respond.

Each of these presentations will take about two hours, and the first will be held on Thursday, June 13, at the Siletz Fire Station. It will cover topics like wildfire history and seasonal fire conditions; how to prepare your home, property and family; evacuation levels, what to expect if you receive an evacuation order; assistance after you evacuate; and how to minimize health impacts of smoky conditions. This information is important because it can make a big difference in terms of the health and safety of you, your family and your neighbors.

All of these sessions are free, and people don’t need to register in order to attend. A complete schedule of the dates and locations of these presentations can be found on the Lincoln County Emergency Management website at www.co.lincoln.or.us/emergencymanagement — look for the link “What’s Happening Now? Upcoming Presentations” and then click on “Wildfire Readiness.”

The emergency management website also has a link called “Seasonal Hazard: Wildfire,” containing information specific to our area, and there is a wealth of other information about how to be prepared in the event of all types of disasters. Information about wildfires around the region can also by found on the Oregon Department of Forestry website at www.oregon.gov/odf.

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