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Fire District reminds community to prepare for wildfire season posted on 06/01/2022

Hoodland Fire District (HFD) announced personnel changes in May and continued its public outreach to prepare citizens for potential wildland fires as the district gears up for summer on the Mountain.

Lieutenant Andrew Figini will leave the district to accept a position as a lateral firefighter for the city of Portland. He accepted the position on April 30. Figini has been with the district for more than seven years.

“We’re excited for Andy’s opportunity and for new people to step in and fill these roles,” Fire Chief James Price said.

Figini’s role with the district will be filled by volunteer firefighter Amanda Schmidt on a temporary basis while the district completes the civil servant hiring process.

Long-time HFD firefighter James Lucas was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in May. Lucas has been with the district since July 1, 1996. He most recently served as a senior firefighter.

HFD hosted a Wildfire Community Preparedness event on Tuesday, May 24 at the Hoodland Fire Main Station. The fire district partnered with Clackamas County Disaster Management to present information to the community on how to protect a home from a wildland fire, evacuation preparedness and how to evacuate large animals and pets.

“The Hoodland Fire District would like our citizens to start thinking about wildland fire season before it is upon us,” Division Chief/Fire Marshal Scott Kline wrote in an email. “Research around home destruction vs. home survival in wildfires show embers and small flames as the primary way many homes ignite in wildfires.”

Kline described how homeowners can prepare their homes and minimize the likelihood of embers or small flames from touching the structure by maintaining a three zone Home Ignition Zone (HIZ) defensive perimeter.

The immediate zone encompasses the structure and the five feet surrounding the home. It is considered the most important area to maintain for fire prevention. The intermediate defensive zone includes area up to 30 feet from the structure and the extended zone encompassing up to 100 feet.

“Within our communities we may not be able to get out to that 100-foot mark, but as a homeowner, please take the time to work on the immediate zone (0-5 feet) to lessen the chance of your home igniting in a wildfire,” Kline noted.

Community members received information on how to prepare for a wildfire and how to prepare to evacuate. Tips included creating and preparing a wildfire action plan – a checklist that includes evacuation routes and emergency meeting locations. Residents should stay alert in the case of a fire and know how to receive the latest news and information from local media and Clackamas Fire. Clackamas Fire reminded community members to be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice due to the rapid and unpredictable movements of wildfires.

The community preparedness event also featured information from Clackamas County Dog Services and Sound Equine Options on evacuating large animals and pets in the case of an evacuation in the community.

More information on wildfire preparation can be found online at https://www.hoodlandfire.us/wildfire-information.

By Ben Simpson/MT

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