Jacksonville Praised for Wildfire Combatting Initiative

JACKSONVILLE, Ore. — Jacksonville is blazing a trail in wildfire prevention techniques that have drawn praise from the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office. The OSFM says Jacksonville’s project in Forest Park emphasizes the resilience and impact of defensive firefighting measures in public spaces.


Fire Prevention in Forest Park Described as a Triumph by the OSFM

Jacksonville’s wildfire prevention program in Forest Park has been given the seal of approval and labeled a “triumph” by the OSFM, which funded the project. The City’s initiative saw trees pruned back, brushlands thinned, and the general removal of debris.

The OSFM, which funded the project, says Jacksonville has set an example of transforming a public area into a safe and resilient “defensible space”.

The Forest Park project is one of 128 successful wildfire defense programs and investments in risk reduction programs funded by the OSFM, totaling $20.6 million. The funding became available via Senate Bill 762 approved in 2021.

In a statement, the OSFM says apart from empowering communities, the fund fosters collaboration in the fight against the increasing risks of wildfires – this commitment is beginning to yield successful results and allows communities throughout the state to develop wildfire reduction initiatives.


Fireproofing Forest Park

Jacksonville adopted a multi-pronged approach to fireproofing Forest Park. Working with Grayback Forestry, the City created a substantial number of fire breaks that will decrease the chances of wildfire outbreaks along the eastern ridge of the park.

The focus concentrated on areas abutting popular walking trails. Attention also turned to thinning out dense shrubland to decrease the risk of a wildfire outbreak within the footprint of Forest Park. Apart from the many hand piles created within the area, the focus also turned to thinning Douglas fir and ponderosa pine trees and cutting back manzanita shrubs.


Wildfire Fighting is an Ongoing Process

The OSMF says that wildfire prevention programs are an ongoing process that requires continual maintenance to attain long-term efficacy. Recognizing this reality, the OSFM is actively engaging local communities in this ongoing project which, it says, will empower the people with resources and knowledge to maintain fire prevention measures and to ensure its longevity.

One-time funding of wildfire combatting initiatives is only a part of an ongoing approach and that is why the OSFM also issues grants to local fire departments to hire additional staff to maintain combat programs.

Residents of Oregon can also request individually tailored firefighting solutions to safeguard their families and properties. For a free assessment click here.


Fire-Adapted Communities

Fire Adapted Oregon programs form part of the OSFM’s statewide campaign to improve wildfire resilience.

To become a fire-adapted community, residents must be informed, prepared, knowledgeable, and involved. They must accept fire as part of their landscape. As such, fire-adapted residents will potentially be able to save lives and properties, as well as reduce the cost of maintaining firefighting programs.

However, according to the statement, wildfire prevention is more than community involvement alone, demanding sustainable funding over many years. For this reason, it is vitally important to obtain ongoing funding to maintain Oregon’s need for firefighting prevention programs.

Oregon could become “a beacon” of fire prevention and community safety, says the OSFM.






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