You are formally invited to attend an Open House for the Draft Wildfire Mitigation Ordinance on Thursday, May 31st from 6:30-8:00pm at the Ashland City Council Chambers (1175 East Main Street, Ashland).
A presentation from the project leaders will be from 6:30-7:00pm, followed by questions and discussion.
Ashland’s New Wildfire Safety Plans: A comprehensive approach to living with wildfire
California’s raging wildfires last year were a wake-up call for many of us. While wildfire risk is higher in Ashland’s hilly neighborhoods, wildfires can blow burning embers miles away. Wood shake roofs and flammable landscaping put many neighborhoods at risk throughout Ashland. Our 2010 Oak Knoll fire, for example, spread to a dozen houses in minutes.
Climate models all point to worsening fire seasons in coming decades. We believe we have too much to lose by not acting on this issue. And there’s good news here as well — fire-resistant landscapes can be beautiful, drought tolerant, deer resistant, and can attract pollinators.
Ashland’s citizen Wildfire Commission, together with Ashland Fire & Rescue and other city commissions, propose several changes:
- Adoption of a revised wildfire safety ordinance offering safer landscaping guidance and new building practices. This ordinance would apply to new buildings and significant additions throughout Ashland, phasing in important changes without placing undue burden on current residents.
- A process to allow conservation of significant trees and other special landscaping situations.
- Creating a highly flammable plant list and options for fire-resistant landscaping.
- Ashland Fire & Rescue recently completed a sidewalk survey to assess the risk of every property in the city and is working on a website where residents will be able to see where they stand. AF&R is also looking into grants to help fund fire safety improvements by individual homeowners.
Successful reduction in fire danger surrounding the city is ongoing through local partnerships utilizing state and federal funding.
For further information: www.ashland.or.us/wildfireordinance