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Fire officials caution homeowners to have defensible space.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Though winds and warm weather played a major role in a fire Saturday that burned 50 acres throughout residential areas west of Eugene, fire officials say homeowners should take steps to keep their homes safe.

No one was injured and no homes were damaged Saturday, but Lane Rural Fire and Rescue Chief Dale Borland said fences and plenty of dry tinder made the blaze more difficult to knock down.

"In these sorts of areas, folks need to have a very defensible space," he said.

Homeowners should eliminate wood piles and shrubs, keep lawns and fields well-watered and mowed and beat back the blackberries, Borland said.

Another tip: Trimming trees throughout the property also keeps flames from leaping between branches.

The cause of the fire was unknown Saturday night, but during fire season - which remains in effect until fall rains begin - it doesn't take much to spark a conflagration, Lane County sheriff's Deputy Kerry Boggs said.

"Anything can be the cause, from a cigarette butt to someone parking on the side of a road - catalytic converters and grass can cause fire," he said.

Kathy Nichols, whose back fields off Spires Lane were blackened in Saturday's blaze, said she will never allow dry grass near her home again.

"The whole pasture is going to be tilled; it's never going to be like this," she said.

- Andrea Damewood
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Title Annotation:Fires
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Sep 9, 2007
Previous Article:Fire comes within yards of homes west of Eugene Residents help firefighters put out the blaze.

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