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Wildfire risk

Important update

On Aug. 4, the wildfire risk map (NOTE: The Oregon Explorer website that hosts the wildfire risk map does not host the new risk classifications while we're revising the map. The maps presented are from the 2018 Quantitative Wildfire Risk Assessment.) that was released on June 30, has been temporarily withdrawn for further refinement. These refinements will incorporate feedback from more than 2,000 Oregonians received during the recent public engagement process from in-person and online sessions around the state.

The appeals process has also been suspended. Appeals already submitted by property owners will be used to identify areas where refinements may be needed to the risk map. Once the map is refined, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) will bring the draft of the updated map to communities for discussion and input. After another round of revisions based on local input, the map will be finalized which will start a new notification and 60-day appeals process.

The department has not set a timetable for these revisions because we want to allow ample time for the public process and to engage communities to get the best product possible.

This decision does not impact the code adoption processes currently underway through Office of the State Fire Marshal for defensible space or Building Codes Division for home hardening.

Visit the wildfire risk map appeals page to learn more about what will happen to appeals that have been received.

Background

For the statewide wildfire risk map (Updated Aug. 4, 2022, The Oregon Explorer website that hosts the wildfire risk map does not host the new risk classifications while we're revising the map. The maps presented are from the 2018 Quantitative Wildfire Risk Assessment.) required under SB762, ODF developed administrative rules with input from a 26-member rulemaking advisory committee. The rules, adopted by the Board of Forestry, establish the criteria by which the map is developed, updated, and maintained. The rules also:

  • Implement five statewide wildfire risk classes of extreme, high, moderate, low and no risk, based on weather, climate, topography, and vegetation.
  • Develop a process in which a property owner may appeal a designation of wildfire risk class.
  • Determine a process in which a property owner is notified of risk assignment of high or extreme.
  • Develop maintenance criteria for the map.

The map also shows what properties in Oregon fall within the wildland-urban interface (WUI), as defined by the Board of Forestry in rule in 2021. Oregon State University developed the map based on the rules adopted by the board and the best data available.

The map will show the assigned risk classification for every tax lot in the state. Those that are both within the WUI and classified as high or extreme risk will receive written notification from ODF and may be subject to future changes to defensible space and home building codes. There may also be changes to statewide land use planning programs and local plans and zoning codes. View a summary of each organization's role related to the WUI and risk map.

For more information on:

Property owners are encouraged to review their homeowner's report in Oregon Explorer. The individualized report will show what wildfire risk classification the property is in and other key information. If a property owner wants to appeal the wildfire risk classification, they can submit an appeal.

Community information sessions

The Oregon Department of Forestry is holding an initial series of community information sessions. The first round of those is nearly complete. ODF is currently refining the map and will soon announce the expected timeline and schedule for more information sessions.  Each session will include a presentation about the map's function and purpose, how wildfire risk is assessed, and how property owners may appeal their assigned risk class. Time will be available to address questions from community members. ODF staff and representatives from Oregon State University will provide the sessions. 

Session will be held from 7-8 p.m. in the locations listed.

  • July 26, Grants Pass—Canceled
  • July 27, Medford—Virtual meeting, video available on YouTube
  • Aug. 2, La Grande—Eastern Oregon University, One University Blvd., Zabel Hall, Lewis Auditorium, Zabel room 101
  • Aug. 3, The Dalles—Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, 5000 Discovery Dr., video was not taken, see photo
  • Aug. 10, Redmond—Deschutes County Fairgrounds, Middle Sister building, 3800 SW Airport Way

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

View the wildland-urban interface and statewide wildfire risk map Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Other state agencies implementing SB762



Resources