Central Oregonians are staying home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This time at home provides a unique opportunity to prepare for fire season and take advantage of upcoming free yard debris recycling events.
This year, Deschutes County will offer expanded FireFree event dates from May 9 to May 24 at Knott Landfill and local transfer stations. In partnership with Brooks Resources and Bend Fire & Rescue, the Bend west side location will also be open for three weekends in May.
Residents are asked to wear masks when they drop off their yard debris and to keep an appropriate space between themselves and other vehicles. Department of Solid Waste staff will conduct Fire Free events to allow for proper physical distancing between participants.
Studies show that if you have created and maintained a defensible/survivable space around your home, it has an 80 percent chance of surviving a wildfire without fire department assistance. Those are great odds and FireFree urges residents to take that bet, and prepare for the upcoming wildfire season.
Now is the time to clean up your yards, create defensible spaces around homes and recycle that debris at FireFree collection sites FOR FREE in Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties.
Check the dates below for an event near you:
Saturday, May 9 through Sunday, May 24 during regular operating hours and days at Knott Landfill in Bend and the Deschutes County transfer stations:
- Knott Landfill, Bend: Seven days a week, 7am-5pm (Expanded summer hours begin May 1)
- Negus Transfer Station, Redmond: Monday – Saturday, 8am-4pm
- Northwest (Fryrear) Transfer Station near Sisters: Wednesday – Saturday, 8am-4pm
- Southwest Transfer Station near La Pine: Wednesday – Saturday, 8am-4pm
- NEW Westside Collection Site in Bend: Saturday and Sunday, May 9-10, 16-17 and 23-24 Discovery West/Brooks Resources, Crossing Drive and Skyliners Road, west of Miller Elementary (Crosby Drive), near the Tree Farm subdivision. From Bend, turn west off of Skyliners, then north onto the construction road to the right
- Sunriver Compost Site in Sunriver: Friday and Saturday, May 15-16
- Box Canyon Transfer Site in Madras: Saturday and Sunday, June 13-14 and 20-2
- Crook County Landfill in Prineville: Saturday, April 25
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I drop off?
- Grass clippings, brush, plant prunings, pine needles, pine cones, weeds, trimmings and branches, stumps or trees (no larger than 12” in diameter).
- NOT Accepted: rocks, lumber, metal, trash or plastics of any kind, including plastic bags. Sod and dirt.
Where are the most vulnerable places for glowing embers to ignite my home?
- Gutters and roof valleys with debris like pine needles and leaves. Clean them out. Despite a metal or asphalt shingle roof, the buildup of gutter debris provides necessary fuel for the glowing embers to ignite adjacent fascia boards or siding — most often made of wood.
- Shrubs and weeds that provide a path of fuel for fire to reach your trees or home. Reduce shrubs and other “ladder fuels” around your home to reduce the threat of ground fires igniting nearby trees, or your home.
- Flammable materials near a deck, patio or fence. Remove weeds, shrubs or any combustible materials from around, under or on top of your deck, patio or wood fence. This includes toys, planters, construction materials, patio furniture and cushions along with even small piles of pine needles or leaves.
- Bark mulch, pine needles, ornamental junipers or flammable vegetation within 5 feet of your home. This can provide the perfect ember bed that provides necessary fuel for the glowing embers to ignite the adjacent siding — most often made of wood.
- Woodpiles near your home or other combustible vegetation. Move wood piles at least 30 feet away from your home or other combustibles.
Visit the FireFree website at firefree.org for more information about how you can prepare your property for wildfire season.