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Interface Fire Protection Act - ODF SWO
Jackson County
Oregon Forestland Urban Interface Fire Protection Act logo
SB 360 Fuel Reduction Requirements
Here are some of the basic points about the fuel reduction requirements of the Oregon Forestland-Urban Interface Fire Protection Act:

  • A 50-foot fuel break is required around a structure on a property located in a forestland-urban interface area classified “extreme.” If the structure has a cedar shake roof, the fuel break must be 100 feet.
  • A 30-foot fuel break is required around a structure on a property located in a forestland-urban interface area classified “high.” If the structure has a cedar shake roof, the fuel break must be 70 feet.
  • A “structure” is defined as a permanently sited building that is at least 500 square feet.
  • Along the driveway to the residence, it is necessary to remove obstructions that will keep an emergency services vehicle out. This means that overhanging brush and limbs must be cleared to a width of 12 feet and to a height of 13 ½ feet above the driveway surface. Additionally, grass and brush must be treated 10 feet on each side of the driveway’s centerline (this usually results in 4 feet of fuel break treatment along the driveway’s edges). A driveway must be at least 150 feet in length for treatment to be required.
  • All vegetation must be cleared 10 feet from a chimney.
  • All dead vegetation above the roof must be removed.
  • No flammable materials, like firewood and lumber, may be stored beneath a deck during the months of fire season.
  • Firewood and lumber piles must be moved at least 20 feet from structures during the months of fire season, or be in a fully enclosed building.
 
Fuel reduction treatment does not need to extend beyond property lines, and in most cases mature, healthy trees need not be removed. Most of the fuel reduction treatment under SB 360 focuses on reducing thickets of brush, such as blackberry and Manzanita; removing dead vegetation; and moving firewood and lumber piles away from homes during the months of fire season.
 
Fuel reduction treatment is not required on unimproved lots.
 
Fuel reduction treatment around homes has proved effective in protecting homes against wildfire damage or destruction. Wildfires in 2009 threatened homes in south Ashland, east Medford, and the community of O’Brien in southern Josephine County, and because of fuel-reduction treatment around homes firefighters were able to keep losses to a minimum.
 
Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about the Act:
 
Will my insurance go up?
No. Insurance companies cannot raise rates based on a lot being included within a forestland-urban interface, regardless of the area’s classification. However, an insurer may elect to not insure a property within a forestland-urban interface area. In most cases, insurance rate increases are due to ISO ratings, which are for your structural fire protection service and do not take forestland-urban interface classification ratings (“high,” “extreme,” etc.) into account.
 
Why is my lot classified “extreme”?
It’s not just you. Classifications are not applied lot-by-lot. Classifications are applied to geographic areas. Every lot within a forestland-urban interface area is given a common classification.
 
Why is it important to send the self-certification form to ODF?
It protects the landowner against getting a fire cost recovery bill, should a wildfire occur on the property. See section below about SB 360 Fire Cost Recovery.
 
I lost my self-certification form! How do I get a new one?
In Jackson County, call (541) 665-0662. For properties in Josephine County, call (541) 474-3152. Have your property’s maplot number and/or site address handy. A new form will be mailed to you.
 
SB 360 Fire Cost Recovery
 
The owners of lots affected by the Oregon Forestland-Urban Interface Fire Protection Act (SB 360) are advised to create fuel breaks around their homes and other structures to make homes and other buildings more defensible against wildfire.
 
After fuel reduction treatment is complete, landowners are encouraged to return their self-certification form to ODF. This form protects landowners against being billed for certain firefighting costs should a fire subsequently occur on their property.
 
Self-certification forms are mailed by ODF to the owners of lands affected by SB 360. Certification forms are mailed to landowners every 5 years. Landowners in Jackson County received new self-certification forms in March 2011. Josephine County landowners were mailed self-certification forms in fall 2008, and will receive new ones in 2013.
 
A property owner may have a liability for certain fire suppression costs if:
  • Required fuel reduction work is not done and a self-certification form is not received by the Oregon Department of Forestry prior to the start of a fire, AND
  • The fire originates on the property, AND
  • The fire spreads through parts of the property where fuel-reduction should have been done, AND
  • The Oregon Department of Forestry uses fire suppression resources not regularly budgeted to suppress the fire
 
The liability can be between $1 and $100,000, depending on the expense of suppressing the fire.
 
To date, no landowner in Oregon has been billed for fire cost recovery under the Oregon Forestland-Urban Interface Fire Protection Act.

Overview of the Oregon Forestland-Urban Interface Fire Protection Act in Jackson County
The Jackson County Forestland-Urban Interface Classification Committee completed its review of forestland-urban interface lands in Jackson County, and recorded its findings of fact and order with the Jackson County Clerk on March 4, 2011.
 
Exhibit A of the findings/order is the list of taxlots included in forestland-urban interface areas, sorted by maplot number.
 
The Jackson County Forestland-Urban Interface Classification Committee will again review forestland-urban interface areas in 2015.
 
For answers to questions about the Oregon Forestland-Urban Interface Fire Protection Act in Jackson County, call Brian Ballou at (541) 665-0662.
 

Josephine County
Status
Implementation of the Oregon Forestland-Urban Interface Fire Protection Act in Josephine County was completed in Oct. 2008. More than 19,000 lots are affected by the Act.
 
Certification forms were issued to landowners in fall 2008. These certification forms expire in November 2013, at which time the Oregon Department of Forestry will issue new certification forms.
 
The Josephine County Forestland-Urban Interface Classification Committee meets again in 2012, and will review identification maps and fire-risk classifications assigned by the 2007-08 committee. Below is the 2007-08 committee's findings.
 
For answers to questions about the Oregon Forestland-Urban Interface Fire Protection Act in Josephine County, call Kyle Holcombe at (541) 471-3875.

Assistance
On-Site Assistance  (ODF fuel-reduction assessements, Accredited Assessors and trained contractors)

Forms, Publications & Rules
Certification forms and evaluation forms
 
All linked forms and publications are in Adobe Reader (pdf) format.
 
Evaluation form for the Default fuel-reduction standards, by classification:

Property Evaluation & Self-Certification Guide
 
Entire publication (5 MB)
 
Individual chapters:

Statute and Rules Links
 
Oregon Forestland-Urban Interface Fire Protection Act of 1997