Monday, May 6th marks the beginning of Wildfire Awareness Week in Oregon. Across the state, fire departments and organizations are encouraging residents to learn about living in Fire Adapted Communities and take steps to reduce the threat of wildfire destroying lives and homes. Central Oregon residents will get a jump on this valuable campaign when they bring their flammable yard debris to area collections sites for FREE beginning Friday, May 4th!

?Residents in central Oregon are no strangers to wildfire and continue to show an increasing level of awareness by participating in FireFree Recycling events,? says Katie Lighthall, Program Director of Project Wildfire. ?To kick off Wildfire Awareness Month, FireFree encourages residents to create and maintain their defensible space and offers free disposal of that yard debris,? adds Lighthall.

The greatest risk of homes catching fire during a wildland fire event is from the advancing embers or ?fire brands? that reach your property long before an actual flame front.

With this in mind, FireFree reminds you to take a look around your property in the ?home ignition zone? where glowing embers can ignite spot fires and vulnerable areas like decks, patios and fences that can spread flames to your home. And take advantage of upcoming FireFree Recycling Events to dispose of the debris for FREE:

Friday, May 4 THROUGH May 12 at Knott Landfill in Bend (closed Sunday).

Fridays & Saturdays, May 4 & 5 and May 11 & 12 at the Westside Collection Site in Bend.

Friday & Saturday, May 18 & 19 at Deschutes County Transfer Sites:

Negus Transfer Station in Redmond

Fryrear Transfer Station in Cloverdale

Southwest Transfer Station in La Pine

Friday & Saturday May 4 & 5 at the Sunriver Compost Site in Sunriver.

Saturday & Sunday May 5 & 6 and 12 & 13 at Box Canyon Transfer Site in Madras.

Visit the FireFree website at www.firefree.org for more information about how you can prepare your property for wildfire season.