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Weeds & Grass

Uncontrolled Weeds
Uncontrolled Weeds

Uncontrolled vegetation poses a significant fire threat as we transition into fire season. Mowing and thinning will greatly reduce the threat. Enforcement of the Weeds and Grass ordinance begins May 1st. The ordinance states that it is “unlawful and a public nuisance for any owner or occupant of real property in Medford to allow grass, weeds, brush, or bushes, or any like vegetation, over a height of ten inches to remain upon such real property during the period May 1 to September 30 in any calendar year, or at any other time prior to May 1 if the Fire Chief determines that such growth constitutes a fire hazard.” The exceptions are:
  • Any crop grown and maintained for agricultural purposes, or grass or other like vegetation grown and maintained for pasturage upon property fenced, zoned, and otherwise lawfully used for said purpose

  • To ornamental shrubs, bushes, or other like vegetation maintained and kept in a landscaped yard or place

  • To any "natural area" within a public park in the City of Medford

An offense is punishable by a fine and may include the abatement of the hazard including the cost of the abatement.


To report tall weeds and grass, call Code Enforcement @ 774-2016 or submit the complaint electronically at this link.


Uncontrolled Dry Vegetation
Uncontrolled Dry Vegetation - A Fire Hazard

Here are some guidelines for abatement:

  • Properties Less than One Acre in Size: Weeds and grass on the entire property shall be disked, cut or removed.

  • Properties More than One Acre in Size: Firebreaks may be considered acceptable as an alternative to clearing the entire parcel. Minimum 30' wide firebreaks shall be provided around the perimeter of the property and the area shall be divided into maximum 2.5 acre parcels with minimum 30' wide cross-breaks. In addition, minimum 100' firebreaks are required adjacent to improved subdivisions/properties (Road width may be considered part of the 100' firebreak). 

  • Unmaintained Agricultural Properties: Minimum 30' wide firebreaks shall be maintained along the perimeter from the edge of road.  In addition, minimum 100' wide firebreaks adjacent to improved subdivisions/properties (Road width may be considered part of the 100' firebreak). 

  • Improved Subdivisions (streets in but structures not yet built): Each lot is required by ordinance to be cut. 

  • Structures in Hillside Areas: Minimum 100’ firebreaks (defensible space) shall be provided around the perimeter of the structure. 

To view this sections pertaining to this ordinance in the Medford Municipal Code, visit the following links:

  • 7.410 Uncontrolled Weeds and Grass: Purpose and Scope

  • 7.420 Definitions

  • 7.430 Nuisance Described; Offense Punishable

  • 7.440 Notice and Abatement Proceedings

Additional Department Information

Fire and Life Safety Department Contacts

Medford Fire-Rescue Fire & Life Safety Division
200 South Ivy Street, Room #180
Medford, OR 97501
Phone: (541) 774-2300
Fax: (541) 774-2514
Contact: Deputy Chief - Fire Marshal Greg Kleinberg
Hours: Mon - Fri, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

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