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Oregon Defensible Space Code

Update as of August 4, 2022

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), the agency responsible for the development of the wildfire risk map, announced they are withdrawing the initial map and notifications. Read the ODF press release here.

The OSFM is continuing to develop the new defensible space code, which will be complete by December 2022, and the effective date will be announced in 2023. This announcement changes the effective date and where the code will apply, but the code will still be developed by December 2022.

For more information, to submit public comment about the defensible space code, or for town hall meeting information, please see below.

Oregon Defensible Space Code

Under Senate Bill 762, the Office of State Fire Marshal is mandated to adopt a statewide minimum defensible space code. The OSFM is using its standing code considerations, development, and adoption process. Agencies, interest groups, and individuals are welcome to provide input during the adoption process. 

The OSFM and stakeholders are following the established code adoption process using the International Wildland-Urban Interface Code model language, using sections 603 and 604 per the Senate Bill 762 mandate. Upon adopting the new Oregon Defensible Space Code, the OSFM will re-evaluate every three (3) years and follow the same systematic policies and practices in place for the Oregon Fire Code.

The code development process will be complete by December 2022 and go into effect in 2023.

Wildfire Risk Map - Withdrawn as of 8/4/22

If your home or business is in the wildland-urban interface and at high or extreme risk, you may be subject to the Oregon Defensible Space Code. Homes and businesses not in the WUI and at high or extreme risk are not subject to the code. 

The OSFM recommends that home and business owners at high or extreme risk but not in the WUI follow defensible space best practices. Wildfire does not recognize map boundary lines.

Find your risk level on the wildfire risk map here. Please note the original map was withdrawn on August 4 and may look different as data layers were removed for further development. The map was developed by Oregon State University and the Oregon Department of Forestry.

Building Codes Division

The Building Codes Division (BCD), is developing rules to:

  • Amend the current Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC) Section R327 to apply to all new dwellings and the accessory structures of dwellings in extreme and high wildfire risk classes in the wildland-urban interface.
  • Amend the current Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC) Section R327 to extend wildfire hazard mitigation building code standards to apply to existing dwellings that are replacing exterior elements of the structure.

These changes will be effective Oct. 1, 2022, and mandatory on April 1, 2023. For more information, click here.

Partner Agency Contacts

The OSFM can answer questions about the defensible space code and defensible space best practices. For other elements related to SB762, different state agencies are the expert. To contact the OSFM, email SB762@osp.oregon.gov

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) maintains the wildfire risk map. ODF can answer questions about risk level, map layers or statistics, and the risk appeal process. To contact ODF, email sb762.rulemaking@odf.oregon.gov or call their appeals line at 503-945-7310.

The Building Codes Division (BCD) within the Department of Consumer and Business Services develops new rules and codes for buildings. BCD can answer questions about home building codes and code development. To contact BCD, email bcd.info@dcbs.oregon.gov.

The Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) oversees insurance best practices. DFR can answer questions about insurance best practices, support with insurance claims, and insurance research. To contact DFR, email DFR.InsuranceHelp@oregon.gov.

Oregon State University (OSU) created the wildfire risk map. They manage the data and the map interface on the Wildfire Risk Explorer. OSU can answer questions about data and the wildfire risk explorer. To contact OSU, email osuwildfirerisk@oregonstate.edu

Grant Opportunities

The OSFM is working to develop grant programs to help with defensible space projects. To learn more, click here.

Helpful Documents

Wildfire Risk Map FAQ
Defensible Space Code FAQ
How does defensible space really work?
Defensible Space FAQ
Fire Resistant Plant Guide
Partner Agency Contacts

Town Hall Meetings

Tuesday, August 2

  • Ashland, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., Ashland High School, 201 S Mountain Ave, Ashland, OR 97520
  • Medford, 5:30 - 7 p.m., Hedrick Middle School, 1501 E Jackson St, Medford, OR 97504
Wednesday, August 3

  • Grants Pass, 5:30 - 7 p.m., Grants Pass High School Gym, 830 NE 9th St, Grants Pass
Thursday, August 4
  • Roseburg, 5:30 - 7 p.m., Public Safety Center in the Umpqua room, 700 Douglas Ave. Roseburg

Tuesday, August 9

  • Eugene, 5:30 - 7 p.m., University of Oregon, 240A McKenzie Hall, 1101 Kincaid St., Eugene

Tuesday, August 16

  • Sunriver, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., Three Rivers School Gym, 569000 Enterprise Drive, Sunriver
  • Bend, 5:30 - 7 p.m., Location TBD

Wednesday, August 17

  • Sisters, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., Sisters Community Room, 301 S Elm Street, Sisters
  • Prineville, 5:30 - 7 p.m., Location TBD
Thursday, August 18
  • Madras, 5:30 - 7 p.m., Madras Performing Arts, 412 SE Buff Street, Madras

Tuesday, August 30

  • Detroit, 5:30 - 7 p.m., Detroit Lake Foundation, 345 Santiam Ave W, Detroit

Wednesday, August 31

  • Albany, 5:30 - 7 p.m., Linn County Fairgrounds, 3700 Knox Butte Road, Albany

Tuesday, September 6

  • Clackamas, 5:30 - 7 p.m., Location TBD

Monday, September 12

  • Hood River, 5:30 - 7 p.m., Location TBD

Tuesday, September 13

  • The Dalles, 5:30 - 7 p.m., Location TBD

Wednesday, September 14

  • John Day, 5:30 - 7 p.m., Location TBD

Thursday, September 15

  • Burns, 5:30 - 7 p.m., Location TBD
Additional virtual meetings to be announced.

Public Comment

To provide public comment, complete this form.

Defensible Space Code Public Meetings

To read minutes or watch recordings from meetings, click the link above.


Contact

Chad Hawkins
Assistant Chief Deputy
Fire & Life Safety Services

503-934-8252
chad.hawkins@osp.oregon.gov