The 2021 Oregon legislature passed the state's first comprehensive wildfire preparedness and resiliency bill,
Senate Bill 762. The legislation invokes action from multiple agencies, with the aim of providing long-term security for our state by minimizing loss of life and property, protecting the lives of wildland firefighters, protecting and managing Oregon's forest assets, and creating a more predictable and protected future for communities and development at risk to the impacts of wildfire.
Under Section 11 of SB 762, the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) delivered a report to the State Wildfire Programs Advisory Council and Legislature identifying recommended updates to the statewide land use planning program and local comprehensive plans and zoning codes. The recommendations focused on changes that would need to be made to incorporate the state wildfire map and minimize wildfire risk, including the appropriate levels of state and local resources necessary for effective implementation. DLCD's Wildfire Adapted Communities Recommendations Report was completed on September 30, 2022.
The 2023 Oregon Legislature did not take formal action on the recommendations. To support local governments that would like to voluntarily implement land use strategies to reduce their community’s risk to wildfire, DLCD anticipates developing guidance and models policies and code.
To help implement SB 762, DLCD staff convened a Wildfire Adapted Communities Stakeholder Group to assist the department in identifying issues and provide input on recommendations included in the 2022 report. The Stakeholder Group included members from across Oregon representing a broad spectrum of interests and organizations as well as individuals from fire affected communities and underrepresented groups. Community listening sessions, an online open house, surveys, a Latino community focus group, and other methods of engaging Oregonians and federally recognized Tribes also informed the recommendations report. View the Community and Stakeholder Engagement Summary, which includes summaries of stakeholder group meetings and community listening sessions held in 2022. Additional information regarding specific meetings is available upon request.
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