Creating a FIREWISE school


Applegate Fire District 9, the Southern Oregon Forest Restoration Collaborative, the Bureau of Land Management, and Ruch School middle-schoolers came together to assess their school for potential fire  hazards before the upcoming fire season.  Students helped to clear space, plant FIREWISE plants, and learn about how to be FIREWISE in a hands-on, engaging way. They learned about fire science, fire behavior, plant adaptability, and the three zones that make up a defensible space. They  put what they learned into practice by helping build FIREWISE demonstration sites, planting fire resistant plants, and clearing fuels on the school grounds. Students then went to their own homes to assess them for potential fire hazards.

The project was funded by a $500 Firewise grant offered by the National Fire Protection Association sponsored by State Farm. Plant Oregon and community members donated plants, and Advanced Landscape Services donated mulch. (THANK YOU!).

On May 2nd, National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, Applegate Fire District 9 will send a crew to do fuel reduction around a local community member’s home nominated by Ruch students that could use help creating defensible space.

This project integrates fire science and safety right on the school grounds to be used for educational purposes for years to come and bring community awareness about defensible space and the need to be prepared for the upcoming fire season.

For more information on the school project visit these articles:

Mail Tribune: Students Participate in Fuel Reduction Effort at Ruch School

KDRV: Ruch Students Learn to be Firewise

For more information on how to be FIREWISE in Oregon visit this FIREWISE resource for homeowners

This project is a part of SOFRC’s efforts with the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network