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Glossary of Terms
Driveway means the primary, privately owned vehicle access road that serves a dwelling, which is controlled by the owner of the dwelling, and which is longer than 150 feet.
Dwelling means a structure, or a part of a structure, that is used as a home, as a residence, or as a sleeping place by one or more people who maintain a household in the structure.
Fire-resistant roofing means roofing material that has been installed and is maintained to the specifications of the manufacturer, and which is rated by Underwriter’s Laboratory as Class A, Class B, Class C, or is equivalent thereto; or is metal.
Forestland means any woodland, brushland, timberland, grazing land or clearing that, during any time of the year, contains enough forest growth, slashing or vegetation to constitute, in the judgment of the state forester, a fire hazard, regardless of how the land is zoned or taxed.
Fuel break means a natural or a human-made area immediately adjacent to a structure or to a driveway, where material capable of allowing a wildfire to spread does not exist or has been cleared, modified, or treated to significantly reduce the rate of spread and the intensity of an advancing wildfire; and create an area in which fire suppression operations may more safely occur.
Homeowners’ association or property owners’ association means a legal nonprofit corporation that manages a community of homes or residential properties.
Included rural lands means lands which meet the definition of "rural" but which have been classified as "suburban."
Ladder fuel means branches, leaves, needles, and other combustible vegetation that may allow a wildfire to spread from lower growing vegetation to higher growing vegetation.
Non-fire-resistant roofing means roofing material that is not fire resistant including, but not limited to, cedar shakes.
Road means a road over which the public has a right of use.
Rural means a geographic area which has not been classified by a committee as suburban or urban and shall include:
  • Lands zoned primarily for farm or forestry uses;
  • Lands which have an average tax lot size of 10 acres or larger;
  • Lands not zoned to allow a concentration of structures; and
  • Lands which do not contain a concentration of structures.
Safety zone means an area that is substantially free of flammable materials, and which can be used as a refuge to protect people from an advancing wildfire.
Standards means the actions, efforts, or measures which owners of suburban and urban lands shall take on their property, prior to a wildfire occurrence which originates on the property.
Structure means a permanently sited building, a manufactured home, or a mobile home that is either a dwelling or an accessory building, which occupies at least 500 square feet of ground space, and which has at least one side that is fully covered.
Suburban means a geographic area which includes one or more of the following:
  • Lands where a concentration of structures exists;
  • Lands on which current zoning allows a concentration of structures; or
  • Included rural lands.
Urban means a geographic area that includes one or more of the following:
  • Lands within a city limit; or
  • Lands within an urban growth boundary.
Wildfire means an uncontrolled fire that is burning on forestland and which is damaging, or is threatening to damage, forest resources or structures.
These pages are maintained by
Brian Ballou, Wildland-Urban Interface Specialist
Oregon Department of Forestry
(541) 665-0662
Last updated: Nov. 3, 2004