WEATHER WATCH
Homeowners taking fireproofing seriously after devastating wildfires
(File/SBG)

Rebuilding after the Holiday Farm Fire left a trail of ash where homes used to be now has homeowners taking fireproofing seriously.

We talked with some people who are already planning for prevention in the next fire season.

KVAL

They want to focus on protecting homes and communities.

They're reevaluating the way they fight fires and the way they prepare for the wildfire season.

Trends show that wildfires are continuing to grow and becoming more dangerous.

We spoke to some people who explain why and how we will adapt to prevent the continuous growth.

Erica Fleishman, the director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, tells us that trends show fires are growing to be bigger and more dangerous as time goes on.

She says there are three main reasons: climate change, short-term weather patterns and long term changes in land use.

Timothy Ingelsbee, executive director of Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, and Ecology (FUSEE), says their prevention steps need to change too.

"We're confronted with reality that 21st century climate is rapidly reducing effectiveness of our 20th century firefighting strategy and tactics."

Logging has always been a main prevention tactic, but Wilderness Program Manager Erik Fernandes says now they're shifting the focus to fireproofing homes and communities.

"One of the things we emphasized is we should protect homes and communities; that should be the priority."

He says there's a conversation in play about specifics of fireproofing.

"Once we get that done, it'll open a lot more opportunities with what to do with fire."

And Fleishman says Oregon utility companies are also adapting to help with prevention.

"When winds are quite high and vegetation is quite dry, power companies are shutting down power."

That tactic would stop any fires that start from power lines.

Ingelsbee says they have the science to fireproof homes, but not land and forests.

Once they get homes and buildings to resist fire then they will have more opportunities with how to stop fires from  burning trees and land.

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