Preventing and Responding to Wildfire Risk at Home

Horse Silhouette Sunset

The threat of wildfire can arrive quickly. As Oregon braces for high winds at the end of summer, here are some basic measures to implement around your home and barn now, and before next year if you haven’t already:

  1. Store fuels, pesticides, medicines and other chemicals in a fire-retardant enclosure or secure location away from heat sources and combustible materials. In the event of a wildfire, these substances should be removed from the premises.
  2. Keep barns and buildings clean of trash and other combustible materials such as hay, lumber, logs, and empty feed sacks.
  3. Install or test smoke detectors in barns and buildings. Test once per month. Change batteries at least once a year.
  4. Place fire extinguishers in all barns, vehicles, and tractors. Check extinguishers periodically for a charge. Discard damaged or used fire extinguishers.
  5. Post emergency numbers in a central location, including the fire department, police department, and other local emergency response teams.  
  6. Develop an escape or evacuation plan, and PRACTICE this. Evacuation of horses and livestock is a big job and often requires assistance. Here in the Pacific Northwest, the Cowgirl 911 community on Facebook is a place to offer and receive help with trailering and a safe place to land.