CANYON CITY - The Grant County Fire Defense Board, the Office of State Fire Marshal and the Oregon Department of Forestry urge Grant County residents to take the time to make a difference for themselves by reducing risk to their homes and structures that may be threatened by wildland fires.

OSFM is partnering with the ODF, the insurance industry and other federal, state, and local fire agencies in this effort.

These organizations are dedicated to educating property owners on preventing loss of life, and property to natural disasters including wildland fires.

Oregon has many areas with little or no structural fire protection yet are at risk due to current extreme fire conditions caused by wind, dry fuels and high temperatures.

"Homeowners can help their homes survive the threat of a wildfire," said Oregon Fire Marshal Robert Garrison.

Steps homeowners can take include:

• Remove needles and leaves from your home's roofs and rain gutters.

• Rake and remove flammable debris such as dead grass, pine or fir needles from around your home and outbuildings. Pile this material at least 30 feet away from your home.

• Clean or remove flammable materials from around wooden decks or walkways.

• Move all firewood at least 30 feet away from your home.

• Remove sections from fencing connected to your house to reduce the risk of the fence bringing fire to your house.

• Move flammable deck furniture a safe distance away from your house (30 feet).

• Cover all roof and foundation vents with a fine mesh screen to prevent sparks or embers from being blown in or under your home.

Remove flammable materials from around any propane, oil or fuel tanks.

For more information, visit the Web site at www.sfm.state.or.us or www.or.blm.gov/nwfire.

In a related item, the Grant County Fire Defense Board will hold a bi-annual meeting 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, at John Day City Hall meeting room.

For more information, call Chief Jim Sullens at (541) 820-4360.

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