Firewise Community Status Reports

These reports are issues from time to time, after each meeting, etc

Status: FEB 2024 - FIREWISE: NETS ROLE IN COMMUNITY EDUCATION AND EVACUATION

Kim Kosmas, PF&R: Presenter for PBEM, Zoom Meeting February 7, 2024.

THE RISK OF URBAN INTERFACE WILDFIRES

Wildfires normally occur and were managed by nature for hundreds of years, but people are moving into the urban/wildlands interface and are changing that dynamic. 1,221,324 acres burned in 2020, the worst wildfire season on record.

PORTLAND HAZARD CATEGORY ZONES on Portland Maps includes wildfire hazards dictated by topography and vegetation [Portland Maps LINK]. Enter your address and go to “Hazards” (Right Hand Column) to see the hazard risks specific to your location.

See Also Map Downloads.


VALUABLE LINKS


HARDEN HOMES AND PROPERTY AGAINST URBAN WILDFIRES

See Collins View's Tips of the Week for illustrations and explanations. [TotW]

Plant fire resistant and native plants. See OSU Extension Service links below:


EVACUATION

“Ready Set Go!” GO EARLY! Do not tough it out. If you are advised to leave, leave at Level #1 or Level #2. Do not wait. Be the first car out. READY SET GO! PDF Check with your neighbors ahead of time. Encourage them to evacuate. Car Pool. With limited roads into and out of our neighborhoods egress is challenging.

CAR POOL! Fewer cars === Less traffic. There are NO strategies for traffic behavior during evacuation, other than avoiding blocked roads.

NETs will NOT be directing Traffic. Safety demands that NETs evacuate, not stay around to “help”.

NETs’ role is to raise awareness and preparedness for emergencies of all kinds. This includes Ice and Wind Storms, Earthquakes, Urban Interface Wildfires, Evacuation checklists and supplies. Communication with neighbors is key.

Status: Dec 2023 - Zoom Meeting with Zac Peal of Forest Park Conservancy

Collins View FireWise (CVFW) was contacted by Zac Peal... CVFW ask Kim Kosmas to co-ordinate. Kim set up a zoom for Dec 5th, 2023.

Forest Park Conservancy Logo

In attendance: Kim Kosmas PP&R, Maryellen Read, Fran Laird, John Miller (all CV); Ralph Cohen (MP), Mike & Vicki McNamara (WPP).


Kim Kosmas's Notes


Ralph Cohen's statement

Ralph says he is willing to Canvas, but realistically feels like people are complacent -- it will take a local firestorm like what happened in Lahina or southern Oregon to shake people up to the danger.


John Miller's Notes

John listed a number of aspects unique to Collins View Firewise environment. FoRVNA == Friends of River View Natural Area. FoRVNA has the stewardship agreement for RVNA with PP&R. Issues: Homeless camping, some dog walkers, MTB's, Illegal dumping. Maybe Zac could visit RVNA in 2024? Main points listed below...

On Beth Israel Cemetery, John was thinking during meeting that the mess of blackberries and holly along Boones Ferry Road would be a good project for fuel reduction. Cutting that back would be a VERY VISIBLE project. But on the other side of hedge there is just wide open cemetery landscaping - not a wildfire hazard, so there are probably better projects. However, should the holly hedge along Lobelia (Undeveloped RoW) catch on fire, it could burn up to 5th, and to Terwilliger like a fuse. Such a fire could jump across Terwilliger at Lobelia. Noted here to suggest a review in 2024.


Maryellen Read's Notes

Maryellen's mission is to get CVNET more actively involved with FireWise.

Status: Our Firewise signs are up! (Spring 2023)

This one is on Primrose, where it meets Boones Ferry Road, a fairly high traffic location for residents.

Collins View Firewise Community sign at Primrose and Boones Ferry

The other sign is on a pole next to the roundabout at Terwilliger & Palater Road.

Firewise Zoom Meeting / June 23 2023

A Zoom Meeting with Kim Kosmas and residents was held Friday, June 23. Kim, our Public Education Officer, reported that Collins View has had 35 Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) home assessments! Marshall Park is coming along nicely too.

A Firewise Fuel Reduction option is coming up

Portland Fire & Rescue has funds that were provided by the State Fire Marshal’s Office for vegetation debris pickup services. These funds need to be used by the end of 2023. A Home needs to have had an assessment to be eligible for the free pickup.

Here's the general idea — Homeowners will be removing dead limbs, downed limbs, and other vegetation for the debris pickup day. They could stage into islands of fuel away from any structures. At some point, home owners will move these materials to the side of the road for pickup. Volunteers may be involved.

Details about the pickup service are to be communicated over the summer. (Boards with nails and chemically treated wood products will very likely be excluded! Not sure about old 2x4's.) For now, assume "Clean Green", or rather "Clean Brown" only.

Our next meeting may focus on planning for another fuel mitigation event for the Collins View Firewise community.

Other Items Covered in the Meeting...

Kim reported on a growing network of 'Fire Cameras' located on towers (other high places) that can triangulate location of a fire -- FireWatch 24x7. Stations can get the info and be on their way before calls even come in.

Status / December 2022

Collins View Firewise Community Certificate Issued December 7, 2022.

We received notice that Collins View is now officially Portland’s sixth Firewise Community. We are Good to Go throughout 2023!

Status / October 2022

The proposed boundary for the CV FW community has shrunk to just Collins View. Other folks (Marshal Park, Riverdale, et al) will be in their own communities.

PP&R conducted a walk-though of nine(ish) CV properties on 8/25 for the purpose of gathering data for an application. The report is being drafted for the National Firewise folks.. We will review / share / summarize that report when the draft is complete.

REMEMBER - you can do a SELF ASSESSMENT, and/or have a duo of bonafide experts visit. See the Sign Up section below.

Status / August 2022

Over 40 properties in our area have had a "Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Home Assessment" done by Portland Fire and Rescue (PF&R) education officers who have visited properties and given a standard report with written suggestions. Folks have been pleased with their reports. Ideally, many more will have such assessments (or do serious self-assessments). See below for sign up instructions.

While these assessments have been going on, several educational meetings have been attended by self-selected interested property owners. (Most have had or scheduled a WUI Assessment.)

On August 25th, 2022, PF&R is doing a "Community Assessment" — profiling eight selected properties to illustrate various situations that exist in our community. They will use that survey, including representative photos, to draft a report to be reviewed by our ad hoc advisory committee (attendees of the educational meetings). Once reviewed and revised by the committee, PP&R will submit to the national Firewise HQ.

Once the proposal for a FW community is accepted, a community board will be chartered and comprised that can oversee the community efforts:

Note: The actual properties in the Community Assessment Report will not be identified, and photos won't have any recognizable property features.

Status / Going Forward!

This is a long term project! We are just starting a marathon. In the meantime, let's all focus on cleaning up our properties, and work toward having our individual Firewise assessments this summer. This page will be kept current and be supplemented with more details as time goes on. Many details to be added. The Plan will be reviewed annually.

References