Central Oregon is no stranger to wildland fire. Along with the beautiful mountains, lakes and rivers, we also enjoy a varied landscape that provides a rich forested setting for business and recreation and increasingly, homes. It is this interface between development and the forested landscape that increases the risk of great losses due to wildland fire. With large wildland fire events occurring nearly each summer, evacuations from neighborhoods have become commonplace during these events.
Across the country, injuries and deaths are increasing during wildland fire evacuations. The purpose of this guide is to allow residents to act responsibly and safely in the event of a wildland fire.
Fire Departments are responsible for determining when the need for evacuation exists and the Deschutes County Sheriffs Department and other law enforcement agencies are responsible for carrying out an ordered evacuation.
Preparation is the key
During a major wildland fire, despite the best efforts of fire protection and law enforcement agencies, there still may not be enough equipment and manpower to go door-to-door advising you to evacuate; you should be ready to make this decision yourself.
Level 1: Means “BE READY“ for potential evacuation. Residents should be aware of the danger that exists in their area, monitor emergency services websites and local media outlets for information. This is the time for preparation and precautionary movements of persons with special needs, mobile property and (under certain circumstances) pets and livestock. If conditions worsen, emergency services personnel may contact you via an emergency notification system.
Level 2: Means “BE SET” to evacuate. You must prepare to leave at a moment’s notice. This level indicates there is significant danger to your area, and residents should either voluntary relocate to a shelter or with family.friends outside of the affected area, or if choosing to remain, to be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice. Residents MAY have time to gather necessary items, but doing so is at their own risk. This may be the only notice you receive. Emergency services cannot guarantee that they will be able to notify you if conditions rapidly deteriorate. Area media services will be asked to broadcast periodic updates.
Level 3: Means “GO” evacuate now. Leave immediately! Danger to your area is current or imminent, and you should evacuation immediately. If you choose to ignore this advisement, you must understand that emergency services may not be available to assist you further. DO NOT delay leaving to gather any belongings or make efforts to protect your home. This will be the last notice you receive.
The Full Evacuation Guide can be downloaded here
The Quick Guide, pictured below, can be downloaded here