Fire

The Oregon Forestland-Urban Interface Fire Protection Act, often referred to as Senate Bill 360, enlists the aid of property owners to turn fire-vulnerable urban and suburban properties into less-volatile zones where firefighters may more safely and effectively defend homes from wildfires. The law requires property owners in identified forestland-urban interface areas to reduce excess vegetation, which may fuel a fire, around structures and along driveways. In some cases, it is also necessary to create fuel breaks along property lines and roadsides. 

The Oregon Forestland-Urban Interface Fire Protection Act is fully described in Oregon Revised Statute 477.015 through 477.061 and Oregon Administrative Rules 629-044-1000 through 629-044-1110.

Forestland-urban interface areas are identified in each county by a classification committee. A committee is composed of five members -- three appointed by the county, one by the state fire marshal and one by the state forester. The process of identifying forestland-urban interface areas follows steps and definitions described in Oregon Administrative Rules 629-044-1005 through 629-044-0145. Briefly, the identification criteria include: 

  • Lands within the county that are also inside an Oregon Department of Forestry protection district.
  • Lands that meet the state’s definition of “forestland.”
  • Lands that meet the definition of “suburban” or “urban”; in some cases, “rural” lands may be included within a forestland-urban interface area for the purpose of maintaining meaningful, contiguous boundaries.
  • Lots that are grouped with other lots with similar characteristics in a minimum density of four structures per 40 acres.

Once forestland-urban interface areas are identified, a committee applies fire-risk classifications to the areas. The classifications range from “low” to “extreme," and the classification is used by a property owner to determine the size of a fuel break that needs to be established around a structure. 

After a committee completes its draft identification and classification maps, a public hearing is held to formally exhibit the committee’s findings and hear testimony. The maps are finalized by the committee after the hearing, and the findings are filed with the county clerk and the Oregon Board of Forestry. At that point, ODF assumes administrative responsibility and notifies the owners of properties within the county's forestland-urban interface areas. Property owners have two years after receiving their letter of notification to comply with the fuel-reduction standards described in OAR 629-044-1050 through 629-044-1085. 

A committee convenes every five years to review forestland-urban interface classifications. ​

ODF supplies information about the act’s fuel-reduction standards to forestland-urban interface property owners and mails each of these property owners a certification form, which may be signed and returned to ODF after the fuel-reduction standards have been met. 

Returning this card to ODF is an important step. Certification relieves a property owner from the act’s fire cost-recovery liability.  This takes effect on properties that are within a forestland-urban interface area and for which a certification card has not been received by the Department of Forestry.  In these situations, the state of Oregon may seek to recover certain fire suppression costs from a property owner if a fire originates on the owner's property, the fuel reduction standards have not been met, and ODF incurs extraordinary suppression costs. The cost-recovery liability under the Oregon Forestland-Urban Interface Fire Protection Act is capped at $100,000. 

Certification cards become void whenever a property is sold, a structure is added, or a county's classification committee has convened and reclassified forestland-urban interface lands. ​

Homeowner Self-Certification Guidelines

Based on your property's hazard classification (low, moderate, high, or extreme), select the appropriate link to determine your "Steps to Wildfire Protection."  If you do not know your hazard classification, please contact your local Oregon Department of Forestry office. 

Other tips for protecting your home from wildfire:

The Oregon Forestland-Urban Inteface Fire Protection Act has been implemented in 17 Oregon counties. Here is local contact information for the counties in which implementation has either begun or is complete: 


 
Coos and Curry counties
(541) 267-3161
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Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties 
Oregon Dept. of Forestry 
Central Oregon District
(541) 549-2731 

Hood River and Wasco counties
Oregon Dept. of Forestry
The Dalles Unit
(541) 296-4626

Douglas County 
(541) 672-6507 
  
Jackson and Josephine counties 
Oregon Dept. of Forestry 
Southwest Oregon District 
(541) 665-0662 
  
Klamath and Lake counties 
Oregon Dept. of Forestry 
Klamath-Lake District 
(541) 883-5681 
  
Lane County 
Oregon Dept. of Forestry 
South Cascade District  
(541) 726-3588 
  
Umatilla, Wallowa, and Baker counties 
Oregon Dept. of Forestry 
Northeast Oregon District 
(541) 886-2881 ​

Certification forms: To replace a certification form, contact the Oregon Department of Forestry or Forest Protective Association office located in the county where your propert is located (see list, above). A new certification form is required if the land is sold, or a structure is added to a lot. 

Evaluation forms. Use these to determine the fuel reduction standards required on forestland-urban interface properties. These forms are for your information only, and do not need to be returned to ODF. These forms are also not to be used as a self-certification form. If you need a self-certification form for your property, contact your local ODF office. 

Choose the evaluation form that matches the classification for the area in which your property is located. No fuel reduction treatment is required on properties classified "low." 

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Re​​sources

Fire Protection Division
2600 State Street
Salem, OR 97310
Phone: 503-945-7207