Be ready: Clackamas County fire crews prep for warmer months, wildfire season

Local fire crews are getting ready for warmer months and wildfire season.
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 12:24 PM PDT
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CANBY, Ore. (KPTV) - Local fire crews are getting ready for warmer months and wildfire season.

Fire crews say don’t let the rain and cooler than normal temperatures fool you, a shift in conditions can bring on fire season quickly and you need to be ready.

No one will ever forget the devastating fire year that was 2020. A hot, dry summer and a wind event resulted in more than 200,000 acres scorched and 62 homes destroyed in Clackamas County.

The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office determines and enforces evacuation orders and say sometimes they have to act fast.

“How big the fire is, how fast it’s going, and in what direction to really help us plan that out,” said Capt. Brad O’Neil with the sheriff’s office. “When a fire kicks off, sometimes it’s a Level 3 and we just gotta go with it and have you get out immediately.”

Deputies, along with fire crews, ask that you be ready with a “go kit” of some clothing, water, hygiene items, a phone charger, and any medication you need so you can leave quickly. They also say you can help save your property by having it ready for fire season with what’s known as defensible space.

“Remove all dead plants, grasses, leaves, shrubs. Keep the trees trimmed up, branches 10 feet off the ground and from other trees, and remove all vegetation and other items that could catch fire from around and under decks,” said Chief Nick Brown with Clackamas County Fire District #1.

Clackamas crews say they are also getting ready right now with added apparatus and getting people hired and trained.

May is Wildfire Preparedness Month, and the county will hold eight community preparedness sessions to help everyone be ready.

Wildfire season typically starts in July, but long before that they ask that you sign up for emergency alerts on your phone, so you can be notified quickly whenever a wildfire strikes.