PORTLAND, OR- Founded in 1941, Keep Oregon Green is a nonprofit corporation that focuses on educating Oregonians and tourists about wildfire safety.
“We’re a small association with statewide scope, and we essentially fight fires with publicity,” said Kristin Babbs, President of Keep Oregon Green.
Keep Oregon Green is the oldest active ‘keep green’ program in the country.
The goal of the organization is to help the people of Oregon prepare their home and property for wildfire, and know how to prevent fires from starting in the first place.
“The best time to do that is long before fire season starts. Each May, Wildfire Awareness Month is an opportunity for us to create awareness of the coming dry season and promote simple steps to better protect homes and communities from wildfire. We team up with other structural and wild land fire agencies and organizations to help us spread the word. Because of our small size, we can’t do what we do without the help of our federal, state, tribal and local partners,” said Babbs.
Keep Oregon Green uses the iconic smokey bear image to promote fire prevention messages. During the summer, KOG encourages people to ‘kick the campfire habit’ in favor of portable gas stoves. They are usually allowed when campfires are not.
If you do have a campfire, make sure you have tools on hand, such as a shovel and a bucket of water, to put the fire dead out before calling it a night or leaving for home.
“Whether folks are at home, out in the forest having fun, or on the job, many of our common daily activities can lead to wildfire. We need to think ahead about the outcome of our actions. Predictable is preventable,” said Babbs.
Keep Oregon Green maintains that it is very important to call before you light that next campfire or a backyard burn pile. Fire regulations vary depending on where you live. Make sure to check with your local forestry or fire district ahead of time to know what restrictions are in place or if a permit is required.
To learn more about the individual steps you can take to prevent wildfires, check out the Keep Oregon Green website.
Image via Keep Oregon Green