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Prevent Wildfires

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Hey, Oregon! Let's Prevent Wildfires

As Oregonians, we know the importance of being prepared for wildfire season. Every year, wildfires threaten our homes, communities, and the beauty of our state. Help protect what we love by being #WildfireAware this summer.

This page is a dedicated space to share valuable information about how you can protect yourself, your family, and your property. From creating defensible space around your home to understanding evacuation procedures, we're here to help you stay safe.

Together, we can make a difference in preventing wildfires and keeping Oregon safe. Join us in spreading awareness and taking action this Wildfire Awareness Month.

Evacuation Levels

Knowing what the evacuation levels mean before a wildfire sparks can help you make quick and informed decisions about when and how to evacuate safely. 

Your local law enforcement agency orders evacuations. If you feel threatened by a wildfire, do not wait for an evacuation order.

Hover over the images to the right to learn more.

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Stay informed by checking emergency service websites and news organizations. Be prepared to move vulnerable people, belongings, and pets. Monitor emergency alerts in case conditions worsen.

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Be set to leave at a moment’s notice. There may be significant danger. You should consider going to a shelter or staying with others outside of the area. Continue to monitor emergency alerts.

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Evacuate immediately; do not delay! There is or will be imminent danger in your area. Do not delay leaving to gather any belongings or make efforts to protect your home. Go now!

Be sure to sign up for emergency alerts for your county. You can do that by going to For more resources and information about evacuation levels in Oregon and how to be prepared, check out the Oregon Department of Emergency Management's website.

Did You Know?

Oregon Wildfire Statistics 2024 GIF  

How to be #WildfireAware

Whether you are at home or traveling, keep wildfire prevention at the forefront. Click each tab below to explore tips to keep you and our communities safe. Learn about everything from debris burning to how to be #WildfireAware when you are traveling. These proactive measures will help protect what we love about our great state.                        

Escaped debris burns are the leading cause of human-caused wildfires in Oregon. 

Before burning: 

  • Check with your local fire agency before you burn to see if you need a permit. 
  • Know the weather forecast and understand typical wind patterns in your area. 
  • Keep burn piles small, no larger than four feet wide by four feet high. 
  • Clear a 10-foot radius around your burn pile or barrel down to bare soil. 
  • Cover burn barrels with 14-gauge, 1/4-inch (or smaller) wire mesh. 

While burning: ​

  • Burn only yard debris, not trash. 
  • Use ready-made fire starters or paper and kindling to start your fire. Never use gasoline. 
  • Always have water and a shovel on hand. Stay by the fire until it is out. 
  • Call 9-1-1 if the fire escapes control. 

After burning: 

  • Make sure your burn pile is completely out before leaving. 
  • Keep an eye on where you burned. Check the area over the next several weeks to make sure there is no heat or smoke. 

Can’t burn? 

  • Cover your burn pile with a tarp and wait until it is safe to burn. 
  • Chip, compost, or haul debris to a yard debris recycling site. ​​

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Before you start: 

  • Check with your local fire agency for equipment use restrictions. 
  • Make sure gas-powered equipment has spark arrestors. 


  • Use gas-powered equipment early in the day when the fire risk is lower. 
  • Avoid starting equipment near dry grass and plants. 
  • Avoid rocks and other solid objects that could cause a spark if a metal blade strikes them.  
  • Keep a fire extinguisher or hose nearby in case of a fire. 
  • Wear eye/ear protection and gloves. 
  • Use caution when welding or grinding metal, be aware of your surroundings. 

Consider this: 

  • Battery-powered equipment and weed trimmers with plastic line can be a good alternative to gas-powered equipment and may be allowed during fire season. 

Fuel up safely: 

  • Let equipment cool before fueling.  
  • Store fuel in approved, sealed containers away from sunlight, heat, and ignition sources. 
  • Clean up gasoline spills with cat litter or commercial absorbents found at auto-supply stores. Discard clean-up materials in a metal container with a tight-fitting lid. 
  • Follow manufacturer instructions when charging and storing lithium batteries.

  • ​Carry a shovel, bucket and a fire extinguisher in your vehicle to put out fires. 
  • Check your tires, bearings and axles on your trailer. 
  • Avoid parking or driving on dry grass; your vehicle can start a wildfire. Park on gravel surfaces or developed roadside pull-outs to avoid a vehicle's hot exhaust system touching dry grass.​
  • Ensure all parts of your vehicle, from mufflers to chains, are secure and not dragging.
  • Check tire pressure, wheel bearing lubrication, and the possible metal-on-metal contact of worn-out brakes.
  • Maintain and clean exhaust systems and spark arrestors.
  • ATVs are required to be inspected when in use on public lands.
  • Operate ATVs only on established roads and trails on public lands.​

Check burning restrictions and only light campfires when it’s safe and permitted. 

When safely having a campfire: 

  • Select a flat, open location away from flammable materials such as logs, brush or decaying leaves and needles.  
  • Scrape away grass, leaves and needles down to the mineral soil.  
  • Cut wood in short lengths, pile it within the cleared area and then light the fire.  
  • Stay with your fire. 
  • Extinguish it completely before leaving.​​

  • Only use grills and smokers outdoors.
  • Place them away from your home’s siding, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Do not use on a wooden porch, deck, or balcony and never leave unattended while cooking.
  • Empty coals and ash into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid that is only used to collect coals and ashes.
  • Keep the container at least 10 feet away from the home.
  • ​Dispose of coals and ash only after they are cool.​​


  • One of the best ways to protect your home and property against the devastation of wildfire is to create defensible space. 
  • Defensible space is the area around your home where you reduce or eliminate things that can catch on fire. 
  • If you need help with creating or making your defensible space better, you can get a free assessment from an OSFM member or a member of your local fire agency. Click here to schedule. 
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How We're Helping

The OSFM has taken a multi-pronged approach to tackle the wildfire crisis in Oregon. Our agency offers a robust grants program that focuses on community wildfire risk reduction and modernizing local response. We also work with home and property owners and renters through a free defensible space program.

Click the links below to learn more about each of the ways we are working to better the lives of Oregonians.

Oregon Wildfire Programs

OSFM Defensible Space Program

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Click on the tab below to explore some of our wildfire prevention resources. The OSFM offers a social media kit, printable flyers and rack cards, which are available in multiple languages, links to other resources and information about our partners.

Social Media

Image of Bigfoot with the words believe in fire safety, prevent outdoor fires, chip, compost, or recycle yard debris - don't burn it

Click the image above for downloadable social media images.


It takes a team across many state agencies and community partners to prepare Oregonians for wildfire. Click the images below to learn how to prevent fires from Keep Oregon Green and the Oregon Department of Forestry. The Oregon Department of Emergency Management can help with emergency alerts, evacuations, and how to prepare your family in the event you need to leave your home. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is a great resource for smoke information on air quality.

To rise to the challenge of wildfire in Oregon, it is going to take us all to do our part to prevent and prepare.