Grants help protect homes from fire

Ashland residents can apply for grants of up to $500 to assist them in removing highly flammable plant such as junipers and cypress near their homes to create a defensible space against wildfires.

The grants are for residents who have not participated in the program previously.

To participate in the program, city residents must receive an assessment, which includes site specific recommendations for creating a defensible space around the home and other structures on their property. Participants must follow assessment guidelines in removing vegetation within 30 feet of a home located within the city limits.

All debris must be removed by December for the homeowner to be eligible for reimbursement. The homeowner or a hired contractor can remove the brush and hazardous vegetation, including plants like juniper, cypress and other conifers.

The grants are part of an ongoing program to help Ashland neighborhoods prepare to withstand wildfires.The money comes from U.S. Forest Service Biomass funds, distributed by the Oregon Department of Forestry.

For more information, contact Ali True, Ashland Fire & Rescue's Firewise Communities coordinator, at 541-552-2231.

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