Keep Oregon Green Encouraging Oregonians to Create Defensible Space Around Homes

May is Wildfire Awareness Month

Oregon experiences its heaviest wildfire activity during the summer months, but fires occur all seasons of the year including spring. Keep Oregon Green, in partnership with federal, state, tribal and local fire agencies, will be spreading the word about the steps we all can take to prevent the start of careless, unwanted wildfires this summer, and encouraging Oregonians to create defensible space around homes and outbuildings. 

At stake: lives, property and scenic beauty – Each year, over 70% of Oregon’s wildfires are started by people. Many are a result of escaped debris burn piles or gas-powered equipment and vehicles casting sparks or catching fire.

During the 2023 fire season, the Oregon Department of Forestry reported that people were directly responsible for sparking 823 wildfires that burned 6,197 acres. Any spark can gain traction in dry vegetation, spread quickly and impact lives, personal property, and the many benefits provided by Oregon’s scenic natural areas.

Before heading outdoors this summer, contact the agency or landowner who manages the land at your destination for an update on current fire restrictions or bans. Any visitor to Oregon’s natural areas should be familiar with these restrictions before building campfires or using equipment that could ignite a wildfire.

  • 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 are a homeowner that does not live in a wooded area, putting in the effort to make your home defensible will have you and your neighbors feel safe.

Keeping things like your roof clean, your gutters clean, grating and screens that will keep embers out and also good windows and good decking. 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.

Let’s create a safer Oregon. Enhance your home’s and property’s protection from wildfire with a free defensible space assessment by the Oregon State Fire Marshal and your local fire agency. Our experts will evaluate your property and give you personalized recommendations to give your home a fighting chance against potential fire hazards.

For a limited time, people who live in select areas of Oregon may be eligible to receive $250 after they receive a free defensible space assessment. Read the guidelines here.

Put Your Smokey Hat On – Smokey Bear is celebrating his 80th birthday this year. Smokey is a beloved and trusted American icon that has educated the public on preventing human caused wildfires since 1944. His timeless and important message celebrates people who take responsibility and prevent wildfires. Smokey’s hat is the driving force behind Keep Oregon Green’s 2024 summer wildfire prevention campaign.

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“Put Your Smokey Hat On” is a call to action, encouraging the public to predict the outcome of their actions and do everything they can to prevent wildfire ignitions. Campaign artwork, PSAs, and additional wildfire safety tips can be found at and its various social media platforms.

Coming soon: More Wildfire Awareness Month tips – During May, a new wildfire prevention topic will be shared each week to help homeowners and recreationists learn how to prevent their outdoor activities from sparking the next wildfire. For more information, visit the websites for Keep Oregon Green at, the Oregon Department of Forestry at, and the Oregon State Fire Marshal at

Follow Oregon wildfire news and prevention updates on social media: Twitter @keeporegongreen, @ORDeptForestry and @OSFM

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