Cut down on chance of disaster with fire-resistant landscape

FireproofBy Kym Pokorny
Drawing a line around the house with fire-resistant landscapes can mean the difference between a home consumed by flames and one left standing.
“Fire specialists love to show us pictures of houses where people took precautions,” said Brad Withrow-Robinson, forester with Oregon State University’s Extension Service. “I’ve seen umpteen photos of land charred all around and a little house left standing in the middle. Not always, but often.”
This year could be a bad one for people who live in rural areas or on rural-urban boundaries, he said.

WateringBy Kym Pokorny
The forecast promises high temperatures this summer, so take care to protect plants for the long, hot haul.
“Already this year, I’ve noticed soils are drying out more and sooner than I’ve seen since I moved to Portland eight years ago,” said Weston Miller, a horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service. “It’s critical to be proactive about watering.”

Dead treesOregon State University has received a five-year, $4 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to investigate increasing impacts of drought, insect attacks and fires on forests in the western U.S., and to project how the influence of climate change may affect forest die-offs in the future.

Haggard-looking conifers result of 2012 dry spell

Drought struck treeSome Douglas-firs and other conifers in northwestern Oregon look noticeably

McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.