The Colestin Rural Fire District is no longer operational. As a courtesy to our local community, this website will continue to be maintained on a limited basis and for a limited period of time; however, we are no longer liable for responding to fire calls, medical calls, or any other emergencies. We have not yet been annexed into Jackson County Fire District 5, although we will have their support during fire season, so at this time, District 5 is not primarily responsible for responses within our district. Instead, all calls should be directed to 9-1-1. The appropriate resources will be dispatched accordingly, and as they are available.

Wintertime Fire Safety & Preparedness

Considerations & Tips


"According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), heating is the second leading cause of home fires following cooking."

"Taking simple steps can prevent a fire from happening in your home. The National Fire Protection Association and USFA offer these heating safety tips, including:

• Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from a fireplace, wood stove, or space heater;

• Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room;

• Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters; and

• Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed."

"For more ways to have a fire-safe home when the mercury dips, check out this USFA resource guide [] to share with family and friends." Also see:

Home heating safety tips (NFPA):

The NFPA's Fire Prevention Week 2015 Logo Banner

Reproduced from NFPA's Fire Prevention Week website, © 2015 NFPA.

Home fires often become devastating and sometimes deadly not because there aren't any smoke alarms, BUT BECAUSE THE BATTERIES HAVE FAILED, delaying discovery. This is avoidable! Working smoke alarms provide a crucial time advantage and can help to save your home, your life, and the lives of your family members. Make sure your smoke alarms are all working, with FRESH batteries.

While the NFPA designated the week of Oct. 4-10, 2015, as Fire Prevention Week, we focused on home fire safety and prevention throughout the fall.

Visit and FAST FACTS ABOUT FIRE ( for more information and fire safety tips.

Additional fire safety and prevention information is also available from the U.S. Fire Administration.




REMINDER #3:  If you heat with wood, "burn clean, not green": using properly seasoned wood is safer, producing less creosotte, and provides more heat.

Some ADDITIONAL TIPS (from Jackson County Fire District 3 & Rogue Valley firefighters):

Space heaters are a "big problem" and "cause over $900 million [in] damage each year." If you use one, "Make sure your space heater is away from anything flammable."

[Firefighters also] "recommend getting your chimney [or stovepipes] checked" [for creosote buildup and general wear-and-tear];

"Caution against using multiple extension cords";

"Cooking, candles, and fireplaces should not be left unattended," and

"Your home should have working carbon monoxide and smoke alarms to warn of any danger."

FEMA Reminders (from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's e-news):

"...[P]repare your home for fire emergencies by changing the batteries in your smoke alarms.

"According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), smoke alarms are essential to home fire safety and should be properly maintained. To promote fire safety in your home, remember to:

• Put smoke alarms on every floor of your home, including every bedroom and the hallway outside of each sleeping area;

• Test smoke alarms monthly;

• Change the smoke alarm battery at least once per year;

• Replace smoke alarms that are more than ten years old; and

• Develop a home fire escape plan so that everyone knows two ways out and knows a safe place to meet. Practice your plan twice per year.

To learn more about fire escape planning, check out this USFA public service announcement [youtube video: "Fire Safety: Have Two Ways Out"]."

What’s Your Extinguisher Type?

"In an emergency, a portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property when used to put out a small fire. However, when it comes to extinguishers, one type does not fit all.

" Did you know there are several types of fire extinguishers? Each one is designed to extinguish different kinds of fires:

• A: For use with materials like cloth, wood, and paper;

• A-B-C or B-C: Multi-purpose fire extinguishers best suited for home use. Most home improvement stores carry fire extinguishers that cover class A through class C;

• B: For use with combustible and flammable liquids like grease, gasoline, oil and oil-based paints;

• C: For use with electrical equipment like appliances, tools, or other equipment that is plugged in;

• D: For use with flammable metals like aluminum, magnesium, and titanium; and

• K: For use with vegetable oils, animal oils, and fats in cooking appliances.

"Before using an extinguisher, please keep in mind that the U. S. Fire Administration recommends that only people trained in the proper use and maintenance of fire extinguishers consider using them when appropriate! Contact your local fire department for training information."


  • Clean your stove pipes and/or chimneys if you have not yet done so or if you use your stove regularly, or have a professional do it. Home heating fires are a primary cause of home fires; our district is no exception. Stove pipes should be cleaned before use each year; with heavier use, they should also be cleaned once every month during the woodburning season.

    Also check your chimney for hazards: "Common problems with chimneys are malfunctioning flues, damaged chimney liners and blockages from nesting critters... Before you strike that match, consider a few safety and maintenance tips..." - Mail Tribune.

    Minimize the chances of a home heating fire and the risk to yourself, your family, your pets, and your home by taking care of this before and periodically during the wet season if you heat with wood.

  • CAUTION: Home fires are now caused most frequently by candle use, and by placing combustible materials too close to heat sources. Be mindful of this! Never leave a room with a burning candle - always make sure it is out first. And always provide sufficient clearance around any heat source.

  • Replace your smoke detector batteries throughout your home. Home fires often become devastating and sometimes deadly not because there weren't any smoke detectors, BUT BECAUSE THE BATTERIES HAVE FAILED, delaying discovery. This is avoidable! Working smoke detectors provide a crucial time advantage and can help to save your home, your life, and the lives of your family members. Make sure your smoke detectors are all working, with FRESH batteries.

  • During the winter months, keep DRIVEWAYS AND ACCESS ROADS to your residence as clear as possible. We need to be able to reach you in winter - yet snow loads can cause trees and branches overhanging roads or driveways to break, delaying or preventing us from arriving. Keep your driveway plowed, and trim back or remove tree branches near and over driveways, BEFORE potential fire situations require emergency access.  Caution Reminder: If power drop lines are involved, call us first. Power companies are NOT responsible for these - property owners are - yet drop lines are dangerous and need special handling. We will try to assist you to locate a qualified professional to do it.  MORE INFO: The Jan.-Feb. 2008 issue of The Colestin Valley Buzz community newsletter featured an excellent article explaining electrical drop lines and safety issues:   Trees and Electrical Lines Don't Mix!   (PDF format).

  • A ROAD SAFETY REMINDER:  Please watch out for Emergency Vehicles on our roadways. Some of us are driving too fast in general, and some people have nearly hit our district vehicles in their haste to get down the road. Not only is this dangerous for everyone, but it jeopardizes our district's effectiveness, particularly during emergencies. We need to be more careful and considerate of others on our roads.  

    And if you hear or see that we are running on an Emergency code (flashing lights and/or siren), PULL OVER TO THE SIDE AND LET OUR VEHICLES PASS.  Thank you for your cooperation on this.

  • Home Safety Reminders:

  • Do NOT leave home with the clothes dryer still on. Overheating is an all-too-common problem. To lessen this fire danger, clean your dryer filters often, and clean the dryer duct at least once a year.

  • Make sure that all electrical appliances are unplugged or at least turned off before you leave your residence for any length of time. Toasters are especially notorious for igniting when energy surges occur in power lines to a house because of their internal build-up of flammable food particles.

Preparedness and prevention is your best defense.

For more Winter Fire Safety information:

  • Read our full 2015-16 Winter Fire Safety Pamphlet sent out to our residents in Dec. 2015. (Note: This document is formatted for printing as a half-page-size pamphlet.) If you are new to our district and did not receive your copy and would like one, please email us with your name and mailing address and we will send a copy out to you [this offer holds only for as long as our remaining supply lasts].

  • In December, 2010, we sent our district members "Winter Fire Safety & Winter Preparedness Reminders" red cards (folded flyers). These can be viewed and printed here: PDF file format; 2 pages, or 1 page front & back:

    Winter Fire Safety & Winter Preparedness Card - Page 1 (print using Vertical alignment in page Set-up)

    Winter Fire Safety & Winter Preparedness Card - Page 2 (print using Horizontal alignment in page Set-up)

  • Based on the types of problems and incidents the District has experienced in the past, we sent out a pamphlet brochure to our district members during the winter of 2008-09, covering many key points of Winter Emergency Preparedness and Home Safety Reminders.




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