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Start cutting grass and weeds now. Fire season is already here

Fire season is already here, and Ashland Fire & Rescue is strongly encouraging early mitigation efforts on your property to keep your home and the surrounding neighborhood safe from fire.

Cutting grass and weeds reduces the ability for fire to start or spread quickly and substantially decreases the fire risk in our community. Starting this important work now ensures that wildfire fuels, including grasses, weeds, and other unmanaged combustible vegetation, have been eliminated as we move into the summer wildfire season.

Powered equipment operations (such as gas-powered landscaping equipment like lawn mowers, weed eaters, trimmers, chain saws, etc.) typically become restricted by mid-June due to Fire Danger Levels, but those restrictions are likely to be enacted sooner this year due to drought conditions. This will significantly limit the time available for you to meet the requirements of the Ashland City Ordinance for Weed Abatement, and in effect, delay the creation of effective defensible space on your property. Visit ashland.or.us/weedabatement for specific requirements and useful information.

Additionally, by not planting prohibited flammable plants within 30-feet of a structure and removing existing flammable plants and debris in proximity to the house increases the chances of a home’s survival during a wildfire event. Visit ashland.or.us/prepareyourhome for more info.

To dispose of flammable green debris from your landscaping and yards, utilize Ashland Fire & Rescue’s 9th Annual Green Debris Drop Off Day happening from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. May 31 at the Valley View Transfer Station, 3000 Valley View Road. Unlike previous years, you must sign up to attend this event, and only the first 200 Ashland residents will be admitted. This event has historically taken place on the first Saturday of May but has been shifted to the end of May to make appropriate social distancing modifications. Big thanks to Recology and the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network for making the Clean Up Day happen! To sign up and get more details about the event, go to ashland.or.us/cleanupday.

Receiving below-average snowpack this winter, Ashland’s surrounding landscape will be dry this summer and Ashland must continue to proactively reduce wildfire risk. Along with above-average wildfire activity already being observed in the U.S. this spring, emergency responders throughout the country who are trained to respond to wildfire are now also being pulled to respond to COVID-19. Wildfire is everyone’s fight, so please help us fight it.

Ashland Fire & Rescue is dedicated to protecting lives, property, and the environment, which includes dedicated efforts among the residents, businesses, and institutions within our city. By working together, we can take care of each other and keep our community fire safe.

Please visit ashland.or.us/weedabatement for specific requirements and more information.