Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Trees + heat = fire

Water + lawns = safety

California's drought is keeping lawns and grasslands brown and dry this year - ripe for wild fires that can easily spread into urban areas.

Oregon is not far behind.  Our drought is making the landscape dry and fire hazards high.  The defensive zone around houses is their green lawns and landscaping.  With enough water, the lawns can play an important part in reducing urban wildfires.

Lake Oswego has a couple of additional problems.  We have an extra heavy tree canopy at 49% for urban areas, and tree crowns at close proximity to one another.  Tree removal for thinning purposes is not encouraged, even though it increases the health of trees.

Lake Oswego water is expensive.  Keeping lawns (and landscaping) green in hot, dry weather requires lots of water.  In droughts and hot, dry weather, the rivers run low, reducing the supply of water.

Where will the water come from and who will pay to keep this city safe from summer fires?  
Will trees or the safety of lives and property take priority?   

Vancouver officials encourage lawn watering to prevent fires

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