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Appeals to wildfire risk classification

Appeals process suspended 

Due to the withdrawal of the wildfire risk map, appeals have been suspended. The map will be refined and after an in-depth public participation process a new final map will be issued. The submitted appeals will be used to help identify areas of the map that need to be examined more closely. After a final version of the map is released (no timeline available at this time) property owners will have a new 60-day appeal period. The department will keep the same administrative process for the new appeals period when it is announced. However, the disposition of appeals already submitted and how they may or may not be applied to second appeal period has not yet been determined.

Background

The updated wildland-urban interface and wildfire risk map assigns every Oregon tax lot a wildfire risk classification of no risk, low risk, moderate risk, high risk, or extreme risk. When the map is issued, and whenever the map is updated in the future, property owners or local governments may appeal their property's risk classification within 60 days of being notified of a property's risk classification. The appeal may request a higher or lower risk classification.

Properties that are in the high or extreme risk classifications, inside the boundary of the wildland-urban interface, and have a dwelling, may be subject to future requirements to protect against the risk of wildfire through defensible space or home hardening building codes. Currently, there are no requirements or identified impacts to risk classifications of no risk, low risk, moderate risk, or high or extreme risk that are not inside the boundary of the wildland-urban interface.

Senate Bill 762 identifies the following grounds for appeal of risk classification:

  • Whether the risk assignment is consistent with the Board of Forestry's adopted administrative rules.
  • Identification of an error in data used to determine the risk assignment if correction of the error justifies a change in risk assignment.
  • Pertinent facts are presented that may justify a change in risk assignment.

Resources

  • Oregon Explorer (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.)
  • Community information sessions