City of Bend Water Curtailment Alert
This Stage 1 water curtailment alert in Bend, in accordance with our state-approved water conservation and management plan, will not require any mandatory actions by customers at this time.
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Empire Corridor Improvements Project Weekly Update - July 1, 2020
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Murphy Corridor Improvements Project Update - July 2, 2020
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Living on the high desert has many benefits; but a risk to living in this beautiful area is the threat of wildfire, please use this section to find information on how you can reduce your risk of having a fire spread to your home. Bend Fire & Rescue offers free consults for home owners to review their home and look at ways of improving the property to help prevent the spread of wildfires. Call 541-322-6300 to schedule your visit. The links below provide valuable information on what you can do around your home and neighborhood to help reduce the risk of wildfire spreading to your home.
Deschutes County Sheriffs Office is the agency that is in charge of evacuations and preparedness in the Bend area. For information on evacuations and evacuation preparedness visit their website.
Centraloregonfire.org provides a one-stop shop for Central Oregon residents on wildfire, public health, smoke, and prescribed fire information!
The Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Forestry, Deschutes County, Public Health representatives, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Project Wildfire, and The Nature Conservancy collaborated on this site to provide the public a more comprehensive website to answer key questions related to fire, smoke, and health.
Keeping Safe from Wildfire
- Wildfire is a regular and natural occurrence in Central Oregon, just like the winter snow, so we must prepare our homes and lives.
- Have a “Go Kit”, for when evacuation is necessary, and sign up with reverse 911 with Deschutes County 911 for emergency notifications.
- Prepare your home and property to survive a wildfire.
- Below is a guide for assessing your home ignition zone and how to help limit the spread of wildfire around your home.
Zone 1 - Immediate Zone
- The home and the area 0-5’ from the furthest attached exterior point of the home; defined as a non-combustible area. Science tells us this is the most important zone to take immediate action on as it is the most vulnerable to embers. START WITH THE HOUSE ITSELF then move into the landscaping section of the Immediate Zone.
- Clean roofs and gutters of dead leaves, debris and pine needles that could catch embers.
- Replace or repair any loose or missing shingles or roof tiles to prevent ember penetration.
- Reduce embers that could pass through vents in the eaves by installing 1/8 inch metal mesh screening.
- Clean debris from exterior attic vents and install 1/8 inch metal mesh screening to reduce embers.
- Keep under decks and eves clear or screened to prevent entry of fire embers.
- Repair or replace damaged or loose window screens and any broken windows Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
- Limit number of trees directly in contact with the home. Limb branches up above the eave line of the home, especially for evergreen trees. Deciduous trees don’t pose as great of a threat evergreens, especially when well maintained.
- Move any flammable material away from wall exteriors – mulch, flammable plants, leaves and needles, firewood piles – anything that can burn. Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches. National standard now is to keep mulch at least 5 feet from combustible construction (decks, siding, etc) At a minimum ensure mulch and bark does not come in direct contact with combustible construction.
Zone 2 - Intermediate Zone
- 5-30’ from the furthest exterior point of the home. Landscaping/hardscaping- employing careful landscaping or creating breaks that can help influence and decrease fire behavior.
- Clear vegetation from under large stationary propane tanks.
- Keep wood piles at least 20 feet from structures.
- Create fuel breaks with driveways, walkways/paths, patios, and decks.
- Keep lawns and native grasses mowed to a height of four inches.
- Remove ladder fuels (vegetation under trees and branches) so a surface fire cannot reach the crowns. Prune trees up to six to ten feet from the ground; for shorter trees do not exceed 1/3 of the overall tree height.
- Tree placement should be planned to ensure the mature canopy is no closer than ten feet to the edge of the structure.
- Tree and shrubs in this zone should be limited to small clusters of a few each to break up the continuity of the vegetation across the landscape.
Zone 3 - Extended Zone
- 30-100 feet, out to 200 feet. Landscaping – the goal here is not to eliminate fire but to interrupt fire’s path and keep flames smaller and on the ground.
- Dispose of heavy accumulations of ground litter/debris.
- Remove dead plant and tree material.
- Remove small trees growing between mature trees.
- Remove vegetation adjacent to storage sheds or other outbuildings within this area.
- The greater the slope of the property, the greater the distances of the zones. If your property is very steep, you may look to increase zone 1 to 10 feet, zone 2 to 60 feet and zone 3 to 200 feet.
- With greater slope, the zones may not be equal on all sides of your home. Uphill sides of the home may be able to be less than the downhill sides due to speed at which fire spreads uphill versus downhill.
- So much of this is a case by case scenario for what is best for each home. Contact your local fire department for an onsite visit and consultation.
Schedule a FREE home safety consultation today! Call our office at 541-322-6300 to schedule your FREE visit!
- 10 Easy steps to help protect your home from the threat of wildfire. Simple steps to review your home with and ensure you are prepared in the event of a wildfire.
- Fire Resistant Plant Brochure. Information about plants that are fire safe.
- Tips for plant watering for wildfire preparedness. Information about proper watering techniques to ensure vibrant plants and conserve water all at the same time.
- Wildfire, Wildland, and People: Understanding and Preparing for Wildfire in the Wildland-Urban Interface. A comprehensive guide for developing defensible space and fire adaptive communities. Lots of great information for homeowners and neighborhoods about what can be done to improve the chances of their homes surviving a wildfire.
- Firewise Videos. Videos showing what you can do to help protect your home against the threat of wildfire.
- Firewise Monthly Newsletters. Updates and highlights from wildfire safety from around the country.
- Home Wildfire Resistance Starts with Defensible Space and Proper Materials from BuilderOnline.com - Great article about why a defensible space is so critical around your home and best ways to create them.
- This article references the new national standard for clearance between your home and combustible ground cover (bark mulch, pine needles, etc). This new separation is a minimum of 5 feet.
Evacuation and Preparedness:
- Emergency and Evacuation Preparedness Planning. Information from the Deschutes County Sheriffs Office on disaster preparedness.
- Emergency Evacuation Levels descriptions are explained below under Ready, Set, Go.
Level 1: Ready
Level 1 means BE READY for potential evacuation. There is a fire in your local area.
- Prepare for any family with special needs, mobile property, and pets or livestock.
- Monitor local social media, news & radio for information.
- Emergency Personnel may contact you via an emergency notification system.
Before & During Fire Season
- Register for Emergency Notifications.
- Create at least 30 feet of defensible space around your home. Visit firefree.org for more information
- Make a list of your 5Ps. (People, Pets, Pills, Photos, important Papers)
- Prepare a 72-Hour Kit.
- Know alternate ways out of your neighborhood.
- Know the evacuation plans for your family members in school, assisted living and childcare facilities.
- Designate an out-of-area contact who can relay information.
- Plan how you will transport your pets.
- Keep the car fuel tank at least half full.
Level 2: Set
Level 2 means BE SET to evacuate. You must be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.
- Level 2 signifies that there is significant danger in your area. Load your 5Ps and 72-Hour Kit into the car.
- Relocate to a specified shelter (if activated) or with family/friends outside the affected area.
- You MAY have time to gather necessary items, but you must be prepared to leave at a moments notice.
- If you have time, when leaving your home, write EVACUATED on a pillow case & hang it at the end of your driveway.
- THIS MAY BE THE ONLY NOTICE
During an evacuation, roads become congested with vehicles, dust and smoke, making evacuation a slow process. GO EARLY! Long before evacuation seems likely, READY, SET and GO!
Level 3: Go!
Level 3 means GO, evacuate NOW. Leave Immediately.
- The danger in your area is current and you should evacuate immediately.
- DO NOT delay leaving to gather any belongings or make efforts to protect your home.
- Obey orders of law enforcement & fire department officials.
- Drive calmly and with special attention to emergency vehicles.
- Do not block access to roadways for emergency vehicles or other evacuees.
- THIS WILL BE THE LAST NOTICE YOU WILL RECEIVE
Check in at an emergency shelter. Whether you stay there or not, your checking in will help others know that you are safe at www.safeandwell.communityos.org
- Take pets to a Pet Evacuation Center.
- DO NOT call 9-1-1 for non-emergencies.
- Do not attempt to re-enter the fire area until it is declared safe by law enforcement.
The fire departments and law enforcement agencies of Deschutes County assume no liability for the use or misuse of this information, which is intended to provide fire safety and emergency guidelines for residents.
For up to date fire information visit www.centralorfireinfo.org
Can you get important and immediate information during an emergency? When you sign up for Deschutes Alarm System (DAS) during an emergency Deschutes County officials can automatically call you with critical and timely information to alert you of emergency information you may need to know to keep you and your family safe. For more information and to sign up for DAS please visit Deschuts County's website.
Your ability to get out depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.
Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as two minutes to escape safely once the alarm sounds. Your home can quickly fill with dangerous toxic gases which lead to limited visibility and disorientation. In the confusion, one can easily become lost or trapped in the home. Home fire escape plans are essential to the safety of your family. These plans must be created and practiced so that each person knows exactly what to do if a fire happens in your home.
Make Sure You Have Working Smoke Alarms
Fact: half of home fire deaths happen between 11pm and 7am when most people are sleeping. Make sure you are ready by having working smoke detectors are in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home
Make Your Escape Plan
- Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Also, mark the location of each smoke alarm. This is a great way to get children involved in fire safety in a non-threatening way.
- Everyone in the household must understand the escape plan. When you walk through your plan, check to make sure the escape routes are clear and doors and windows can be opened easily.
- Choose an outside meeting place (i.e. neighbor's house, a light post, mailbox, or stop sign) a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan. Don’t pick somewhere too far from the house or in the back yard where the fire department can’t find you when they arrive.
- Go outside to see if your street number is clearly visible from the road. If not, paint it on the curb or install house numbers to ensure that responding emergency personnel can find your home.
- Have everyone memorize the emergency phone number of the fire department. That way any member of the household can call from a neighbor's home or a cellular phone once safely outside.
- If there are infants, older adults, or family members with mobility limitations, make sure that someone is assigned to assist them in the fire drill and in the event of an emergency. Assign a backup person too, in case the designee is not home during the emergency.
- If windows or doors in your home have security bars, make sure that the bars have emergency release devices inside so that they can be opened immediately in an emergency. Emergency release devices won't compromise your security - but they will increase your chances of safely escaping a home fire.
- Once you're out, stay out! Under no circumstances should you ever go back into a burning building. If someone is missing, inform the fire department dispatcher when you call. Firefighters have the skills and equipment to perform rescues.
Plan an Escape Route
One very good step in the planning of a home fire escape plan is to make a floor diagram of the house. Mark the regular and emergency escape routes, as well as windows, doors, stairs, halls.
A good way to practice the effectiveness of a home fire escape plan is to position each family member in his or her bed, turn all the lights off, and activate the smoke detector by depressing the test switch. Each family member should help "awaken" the others by yelling the alert. Family members should exit their rooms according to the plan, crawl low under smoke, practice feeling doors for heat, and meet in the designated location outside the home.
Not all "homes" are single residential structures but include apartments and other types of buildings. Some additional discussion may be helpful in the home escape plan.
Most high-rise or multi-story apartment complexes post fire escape plans for all residents to see and follow. However, these plans seldom include escape routes for each apartment. Family members must develop and practice an evacuation plan for their individual apartment.
Clear Your Escape Routes
Items that block doors and windows in your home could keep you from escaping in the event of a home fire. And that could mean the difference between life and death. So unblock your exits today!
Key to your family’s safety is planning and practicing a home fire escape plan twice a year. Start by identifying two escape routes out of each room, if possible, then make sure that each of those escape routes can be used safely by everyone.
Practice Your Fire Escape Plan
- Practice your home fire escape plan twice a year, making the drill as realistic as possible.
- Make arrangements in your plan for anyone in your home who has a disability.
- Allow children to master fire escape planning and practice before holding a fire drill at night when they are sleeping. The objective is to practice, not to frighten, so telling children there will be a drill before they go to bed can be as effective as a surprise drill.
- It's important to determine during the drill whether children and others can readily waken to the sound of the smoke alarm. If they fail to awaken, make sure that someone is assigned to wake them up as part of the drill and in a real emergency situation.
- If your home has two floors, every family member (including children) must be able to escape from the second floor rooms. Escape ladders can be placed in or near windows to provide an additional escape route. Review the manufacturer's instructions carefully so you'll be able to use a safety ladder in an emergency. Practice setting up the ladder from a first floor window to make sure you can do it correctly and quickly. Children should only practice with a grown-up, and only from a first-story window. Store the ladder near the window, in an easily accessible location. You don't want to have to search for it during a fire.
- Always choose the escape route that is safest – the one with the least amount of smoke and heat – but be prepared to escape under toxic smoke if necessary. When you do your fire drill, everyone in the family should practice getting low and going under the smoke to your exit.
- Closing doors on your way out slows the spread of fire, giving you more time to safely escape.
- In some cases, smoke or fire may prevent you from exiting your home or apartment building. To prepare for an emergency like this, practice "sealing yourself in for safety" as part of your home fire escape plan. Close all doors between you and the fire. Use duct tape or towels to seal the door cracks and cover air vents to keep smoke from coming in. If possible, open your windows at the top and bottom so fresh air can get in. Call the fire department to report your exact location. Wave a flashlight or light-colored cloth at the window to let the fire department know where you are located.
(Information provided in part courtesy of NFPA and the City of Phoenix (AZ) Fire Department© 2013)
Here is some information on when and how to use a fire extinguisher as well as information on pre-planning what type and location for extinguishers.
Bend Fire & Rescue provides free fire extinguisher and fire safety education to both residents and businesses throughout our district. To schedule a class, please call our office at 541-322-6300.
When and How to use a fire extinguisher:
Things to do Before You Use Fire Extinguisher – Use the acronym R.A.C.E. to remember what to do prior to grabbing your fire extinguisher -
R - Rescue – Ensure everyone is starting to evacuate the building or area of the fire. Smoke is the most dangerous part of a fire for humans and the quicker you get people away from the fire, the less chance of injury or death.
A - Alarm – Call 911 and activate the buildings fire alarm system if there is one. The sooner 911 is activated the sooner the fire department can arrive on scene. The fire department can ensure the fire is completely out and help if the extinguisher does not fully extinguish the fire.
C - Confine – Again, smoke is the most hazardous part of the fire. Shut doors on your way out to limit the spread of smoke in the building
E - Exit or Extinguish – This is where you decide if you can safely use an extinguisher or you need to evacuate yourself.
If the fire is too big or you don’t feel safe using the extinguisher, you have already started to evacuate the building, called 911 and attempted to confine the fire. Extinguish is last for a reason, the priority is to get people out of the building or home first. You could also ask for assistance in evacuating and calling 911 so you or someone else can use an extinguisher.
How to Use a Fire Extinguisher:
If you decide to use an extinguisher, use the acronym P.A.S.S. to remember how to use your fire extinguisher safely and effectively:
P - Pull – Pull the pin from the handle of the fire extinguisher, this pin keeps the handle from being accidentally squeezed
A - Aim – Aim the nozzle of the extinguisher at the base of the fire, closest to you.
S - Squeeze – Squeeze the handle to propel the extinguisher agent out at the fire. Continue squeezing until the extinguisher is fully used up
S - Sweep – Sweep the nozzle side to side to ensure you cover the entire fire
Things to do prior to a fire. How to plan on locations and types of extinguishers you need for your home or office.
Placement of Fire Extinguishers - Fire Extinguishers must be:
- Readily visible
- Uniformly distributed (throughout structure)
- Free from blockage by storage and equipment
- Near normal ports of travel
- Protected from potential accidental or malicious damage
- An extinguisher weighing less than 40 lbs. should be installed with the top not more than 5ft. from the floor
Extinguishers Have Their Limits
A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives. However, they are not designed to fight large or spreading fires. Even against small fires, they are useful only under the right conditions:
- An extinguisher must be the right type (see below) for the fire.
- An extinguisher must be large enough for the fire at hand. It must be readily available, in working order and fully charged
- The operator must know how to use the extinguisher quickly
- The operator must be strong enough to lift and operate the extinguisher
Your Extinguisher Must Fit the Fire
Here is the list of different types of fires that you may encounter. Most household fire extinguishers will extinguish A, B and C fires, making them a Multipurpose Fire Extinguisher.
- TYPE A - Ordinary combustibles (wood, cloth, rubber, many plastics, etc.)
- TYPE B - Flammable liquids (gasoline and other flammable liquids, oil, grease, tar, oil-based paint, lacquer and flammable gas)
- TYPE C - Electrical equipment (energized electrical equipment including wiring, fuse boxes, circuit breakers, machinery & appliances)
- TYPE D - Metal fires
- TYPE K - For use ONLY where cooking equipment involves the use of animal or vegetable oils
(Information provided in part courtesy of the Houston (TX) Fire Department© 2014)
Natural gas is one of the safest and most reliable fuels available. However, it's important that everyone learn to safely operate and maintain your natural gas appliances. It's easy if you follow these guidelines:
- When lighting a burner or oven with no pilot light, always light the match first, place it at the burner, and then turn the range knob.
- If a burner flame goes out, shut off the range knob, wait for the gas to dissipate, then relight the burner.
- Keep the area around your appliances and meter free of all combustible materials
- Have your furnace or heating system inspected regularly.
- Install smoke alarms on each level of your house, including the basement. Replace batteries each year.
- Keep an active Class ABC fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
- Always use flammable liquids in open, well-ventilated areas and away from any ignition source.
- Store flammable liquids and solvent-soaked rags away from ignition sources and children's reach.
More safety information can be found on Natural Gas safety, go to CNG's website. For information on Propane safety, go to www.propanesafety.com
Call before you dig:
For residential and commercial projects, Washington and Oregon laws require persons doing any type of excavation to Call Before You Dig. The law covers both public and private property. Excavating includes any movement of rocks, soil, or other material on or below ground. You must call at least two business days before you dig. After calling, you must wait two business days before digging so that utility employees have time to complete your request. For more information visit Call Before You Dig 811 website.
(Information provided courtesy of the Cascade Natural Gas Company © 2014)
There are ways to help protect your family for electrical fires. These tips can reduce the risk of an electrical fire:
- Electrical work should be done only by a qualified electrician.
- Call a qualified electrician if you have any of the following:
- recurring problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers
- a tingling feeling when you touch an electrical appliance
- discolored or warm wall outlets or switches
- a burning smell or rubbery odor coming from an appliance
- flickering lights
- sparks from a wall outlet
- cracked or broken wall outlets
Have your home electrical system inspected by a qualified professional when buying, selling, or renovating a home.
- Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the lamp or fixture
- If a fuse blows or a circuit breaker trips often, find out why and get the problem corrected before turning the breaker back on or replacing the fuse. Have a qualified electrician inspect and fix it
- Major appliances and small appliances (refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, etc.) should be plugged directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord with a major appliance—it can easily overheat and start a fire
- Check electrical cords often. Replace cracked, damaged, and loose electrical or extension cords. Do not try to repair them
- Avoid putting cords where they can be damaged or pinched by furniture, under rugs and carpets, or across doorways
- Use only surge protectors or power strips that have internal overload protection. Extension cords are for temporary use only. Have a qualified electrician determine if additional circuits or wall outlets are needed
(Information provided in part courtesy of NFPA© 2013)