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Alarm Box: Deadline to cut down tall grass and weeks approaching

Fire season is coming once again. Tall grass and weeds will dry out fast once hot and dry summer temperatures arrive. This means greater fire risk and a higher potential for catastrophic fire. Weeds and grasses grow wherever they can and fire season restrictions for equipment use are being enacted sooner and for longer, severely limiting the time to safely abate weed and grass hazards once fire season starts. Get out early and get out often this year! Help our community stay as fire safe a possible with the growing threat of wildfires. Don’t wait to abate!

The city of Ashland created enforceable laws for weed abatement to promote and establish proven measures of fire safety for the protection of our wonderful community and beautiful watershed. Ashland Municipal Code (Section 9.04) requires landowners to cut grasses and weeds by June 15 each year and to keep them cut throughout the fire season. This applies to all lots within city limits. Failure to abate weeds and grass by June 15 and maintaining the property throughout fire season can result in fines up to $500 each day the violation exists, plus any abatement and staff costs the city incurs to bring your property back into compliance.

Our newly updated, mobile friendly webpage at www.ashland.or.us/weedabatement has useful information about ordinance requirements, answers to frequently asked questions, complaint forms and links to information about further protecting your home and community from wildfire.

Also, please utilize Ashland Fire & Rescue’s newly published Ashland Is Ready (AIR) Emergency Preparedness Guidebook to help you and your family prepare for a local disaster or evacuation event. These guidebooks were recently mailed to every household in Ashland. It is available as a PDF at www.ashland.or.us/air.

Remember to make time this spring to cut your weeds and grass and take a closer look around while preparing your property for fire season. Check out our firewise tips at www.ashland.or.us/weedabatement for more things you can do around your home!

Ashland is a Wildland Urban Interface, a city of trees; we must be mindful of our risks. Please, don’t wait to abate. Fire is everyone’s fight. Help us all have a safe fire season!

— Brian Hendrix is the Weed Abatement Coordinator for Ashland Fire & Rescue. You can reach him at brian.hendrix@ashland.or.us. The Alarm Box, a column with local public safety information, appears triweekly in the Tidings.

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