Wednesday's Alarm Box column from Ashland Fire & Rescue contained timely advice on keeping your property fire-resistant and being prepared in the event a wildfire should break out in or near Ashland.

Even though fire managers have declared this the best water and snowpack year in more than a decade, and predicted a late and mild fire season, fires happen even in the wettest of years, and bad ones can still erupt even when conditions don't appear to favor big blazes.

Just over the ridge in the Applegate, we had a reminder just this week that it never pays to get complacent when it comes to wildfires. The lightning storm on Memorial Day was the likely cause of a fire in the Forest Creek Road area that grew to about an acre before crews contained it.

That storm didn't ignite many fires — it also brought locally heavy rain along with lightning — but it did ignite one. And one can be all it takes to do serious damage.

Monday's wake-up call was the first of what likely will be more fires ignited by lightning strikes and other causes this year. The wet spring may delay fire season, but it also means wildfire fuels grow taller.

In the Alarm Box column, Fire Adapted Communities Cooordinator Alison Lerch reminded Ashlanders that city code requires landowners to cut grass and weeds by June 15 and keep them cut all season. For more information about keeping your property and your family safe, visit www.ashland.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=8366.