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Fire Adapted Oregon

As a result of the priorities in Senate Bill 762 and to better meet the needs and assist Oregonians, the Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) created Fire Adapted Oregon. This initiative uses an integrated and strategic investment of resources to reduce fires and their impact on the public. Fire Adapted Oregon is grounded in statewide data, science, new defensible space codes, and trends. 

The initiative will be grounded in the community risk reduction framework. The CRR framework can be visualized in five (5) E's that offer questions to consider when planning local projects or work:

  • Emergency Response: Could adding or enhancing emergency services improve community safety?
  • Economic Incentives: Could economic incentives or penalties encourage safer behavior?
  • Education: Would altering Oregonian's knowledge, attitudes, and awareness related to their risks impacts their behaviors?
  • Enforcement: Could passing, strengthening, or enforcing laws and rules impact risks?
  • Engineering: Are there technology solutions such as products or materials that could help reduce risk?

Community Risk Reduction Unit

The community risk reduction unit provides training, planning and technical assistance, and access to data and strategic investment funding resources to reduce wildfire risks at the local level. The OSFM has seven (7) regional fire risk reduction specialists (FRRSs) to work with local partners to create and promote fire-adapted communities in Oregon. These FRRSs will be the regional contact for fire chiefs and local partners for community risk reduction needs. For an interactive map with their contact, visit OSFM Field Staffing Map. Risk reduction activities and needs will look different in each community; however, there are some examples of what your regional FRRS can assist with:

Training
  • Home ignition zone best practices training in partnership with the National Fire Protection Association to provide a shared base of knowledge for fire service and other professional practitioners on how homes ignite from wildfire and how to mitigate that potential. Thirteen 2-day courses will be hosted throughout Oregon starting April 2022.

Educational Capacity

  • FRRSs can assist with local community meetings, educational events, and efforts to improve and increase knowledge of wildfire risk and preparedness best practices.
  • Collaboratively create plans for risk reduction projects around critical infrastructure, such as schools and hospitals. 

Best Available Science

  • Using demographic, geographic, and fire incident data to drive actions to identify and mitigate risks at various levels in local communities.
  • Using data analysis to help local partners identify vulnerable populations, critical infrastructure, and wildfire risk to schools, hospitals, and eldercare facilities.

Grants

OSFM is hosting listening and understanding sessions in March 2022 with interested stakeholders, partnering agencies, fire service, and members of the public to inform strategic investments for upcoming grants programs facilitated through the Community Risk Reduction. As grant opportunities open to applications, they will be announced here. 

Educational Webinars

The Community Risk Reduction staff have been hosting regular educational webinars focused on wildfire community risk reduction topics. The link to register for future webinars and the recordings from past offers are available below. 

March 31 - What is the Home Ignition Zone?

April 21 - Firewise USA®

May 3 - Are you financially prepared for wildfires?

May 12 - How homes really ignite during a wildfire

May 19 - Evacuation Preparedness 

May 24 - Yes, fire-resistant plants are a real thing

June 28 - Home wildfire survival with Yana Valachovic, UC cooperative extension forest advisor

Join the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal's mailing list. We'll email when webinars are announced with a link to sign up!



Defensible Space Code

The Office of State Fire Marshal is mandated to adopt a statewide minimum defensible space code on lands that meet the definition of the wildland-urban interface (WUI) and establish rules pertaining to enforcement in “high” and “extreme” areas. The code adoption process is projected to meet the legislative deadline of December 2022. The first Oregon Defensible Space Code workgroup meeting was held in February 2022. 

Concurrently, OSFM is engaged with the Rule Advisory Committees (RAC), facilitated by the Oregon Department of Forestry. The RAC is working to develop the definition of the WUI, define the criteria associated with the definition, and develop a comprehensive statewide map that identifies the wildland-urban interface and risk levels. Upon completing this work, OSFM’s work can cascade into the development of the defensible space code.

For more information on the code development process, visit the OSFM Defensible Space Code page.