Press Releases

Reduce grass and weed fire risk, nuisance


ROSEBURG, Ore. – With the growing season well underway and wildfire season just around the corner, the City of Roseburg reminds property owners to maintain all grasses and weeds to a maximum height of 12 inches year-round.

Under Roseburg Municipal Code, public and private property owners are not allowed to create a public “nuisance” through excess or “obnoxious” vegetation on any property. Failure to maintain grasses and weeds at the appropriate height could lead to fines or penalties imposed by the City. The City Code applies to all property and property owners, including owners of vacant properties in residential subdivisions.

“Mowing and trimming regularly helps to reduce fire risk but also prevents properties from becoming eyesores with long grass and tall weeds,” said Roseburg Community Development Department Director Stuart Cowie. “Keeping your lawn mowed and weeds trimmed regularly helps to make Roseburg a safe and beautiful place.”

Under Roseburg Municipal Code 7.04.005, “obnoxious” vegetation includes weeds, grass or legumes taller than twelve inches; poison oak or poison ivy; vegetation that obstructs vision; vegetation including blackberry vines that extend into the public way, are used for habitation by trespassers, or pose a fire hazard because they’re near other combustibles. That doesn’t include agricultural crops that aren’t a fire hazard or vision obstruction, or natural vegetation in areas designated to remain in a natural vegetative state and that don’t pose a fire hazard as determined by the Roseburg fire chief.

Roseburg Municipal Code 7.04.140 states obnoxious vegetation won’t be allowed on public or private property except in wetland and riparian areas along creeks and rivers, or where strict compliance would be impractical as applied to a type of obnoxious vegetation; part of a parcel; or the height of weeds, grass or tree branches. The Roseburg city manager determines when requirements are impractical, according to the code.

In addition, May is “Wildfire Awareness Month” in Oregon, where wildfire season can start as early as mid-May and last until the first rains in fall, according to the Western Fire Chiefs Association. Roseburg property owners can do their part to reduce wildfire risk by removing dead, combustible vegetation, mulch and other materials, as well as keeping lawns mowed and plants watered. The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office advises property owners to keep your property “lean and green.”

Thanks to this year’s rain and snow, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows the Roseburg area remains abnormally dry but does not currently suffer from the moderate drought plaguing eastern Douglas County. However, as the rain diminishes and temperatures rise, vegetation will dry out rapidly and fire danger to homes and other properties will increase.

For that reason and to comply with the Roseburg Municipal Code, all tall weeds and grasses, including blackberry vines, must be kept to the 12-inch height restriction year-round.

Thank you for doing your part to help keep Roseburg beautiful and our residents and businesses safe from wildfire. For more information, contact the Roseburg Community Development Department at or 541-492-6750.

Posted by RoseburgAdmin