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Hoodland Fire receives grant money for Govy fire prevention posted on 04/01/2022

The Hoodland Fire District (HFD) received a grant from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) in February for wildland fire preparation work in Government Camp. The Small Forestland Firewise® USA grant awarded $75,000 to the district for work to improve the defensibility and survivability of structures in the community during the occurrence of a wildland fire.

“With this kind of preparation, the chances of the wildfire taking out a house are very minimal,” HFD Division Chief/Fire Marshal Scott Kline said.

The grant money will be utilized to create 30-foot defensive parameters around structures in Government Camp to increase the likelihood of the buildings withstanding a wildland fire.

The grant application states the work will include “the removal of brush, small diameter coniferous and alder regeneration in the understory, and pruning within approximately 30 feet of the primary structure on each property as well as along the driveway.”

Trees that are dead or dying and are considered hazardous near houses will also be removed by certified arborists as part of the project.

The work will be performed by ODF crews, HFD personnel and private contractors. Community members can contact the Government Camp Community Planning Organization to get added to a list of properties that HFD will assess for the project.

After being approved by HFD for the funding, property owners can submit receipts for work performed by contractors. HFD will provide before and after photos of qualifying sites to the grant program.

The grant is funded by Firewise® USA, a national program that assists communities to prepare for wildfires. The grant money will be utilized in Government Camp because it is the only Firewise® community currently active in the district.

Kline stated the clean-up project will begin later this spring and continue through the fall.

The district will also engage in educational outreach in Government Camp as part of the grant. Outreach activities will include creating incentives for fuel reduction on properties as well as the development and distribution of a brochure detailing open burn regulations within the fire district and Clackamas County.

In addition, the grant money will be used to increase the number of address markers throughout the village to assist emergency responders in locating properties in the event of an emergency.

The grant application states that HFD will “work to develop an action plan that guides Government Camp’s residential risk reduction activities, while engaging and encouraging community members to become active participants in building a safer place to live in an area prone to wildfires.”

HFD will be discussing Firewise® membership with other communities in the Mount Hood area this spring and arranging meetings for community groups with the ODF, the agency that manages Firewise® in the state. The Rhododendron Community Planning Organization, Timberline Rim, and Zig Zag Village have all previously participated in the wildland fire preparation program.

More information is available online at https://www.hoodlandfire.us/how-to-prepare-your-home-for-wildfires.

By Ben Simpson/MT





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