A new map of wildfires across Oregon, released on Thursday morning, could affect homeowners living in high-risk areas.
The map was released in response to Senate Bill 762, passed by the state legislature, which burned more than 1 million hectares of land during the 2020 Labor Day and destroyed the region’s seemingly unprepared areas.
The Willamte Valley is generally in the lower risk category, although the risk is higher in the lower hills, but the coastal region is in the middle risk category.
The map divides the territory into extreme, high, medium and low risk fire. Much of the state’s territory – 57 percent – is divided into extreme or high-risk areas, with the Cascade region in southwestern Oregon’s Sisyphean region and northeastern Oregon in the Blue, Walowa and Elkhorn mountains. Extreme levels of flood danger were announced in most of Central Oregon.
Of the 1.8 million tax cases in Oregon, officials estimate:
- 4.4% of Oregon’s land area is in the wild-land interface (WUI), which includes 956,496 tax returns.
- In Oregon, 120,276 tax cases are in the WUI and in the high or high risk category.
- Of the 120,276 tax deductions in WUI, 80,000 and high-risk assignments now have a structure that is subject to new codes or standards.
Browse the map online here.
“Even though most of us travel low, we have some degree of risk and there is much we can do to prepare as much as possible,” said Allison Green, spokeswoman for the Oregon Fire Department.
There are two ways in which vulnerable homeowners and high-risk areas can be affected – new codes and protection space requirements.
Criteria for building codes
Mark Peterson, a spokesman for the Oregon Consumer Division, said the new building codes apply to homeowners “only when they choose to take action.” Business Services
“Typically, this is to build a new house or to renovate or renovate the exterior needed to meet the new standard,” he said in an email.
For example, he said, it would include installing a new roof or replacing existing ones. Those can lead to new code standards and require the use of fire-resistant building materials.
He said general maintenance and repair will not trigger the new code standards.
“Building codes do not apply backwards in Oregon and the homeowner does not require any immediate action to comply with the new code for the first designation of the affected area,” he said.
He said the rules will take effect from October 1, 2022, and will be effective from April 1, 2023.
The Building Codes Division, in collaboration with Oregon State University, is working to create a customer tool outside of the regional wildfire map to identify areas where additional construction standards will be implemented. The bill requires the department to upgrade the Oregon Housing Specialization Code Chapter 3, Section R327 of the Optional Code. This summer, code development will adjust the criteria to address changes to the external components included in the section.
Fire-resistant construction requirements include:
- A or B roofs and non-combustible gases
- Ignition-resistant sediment
- Protection of excessive clamps and shields
- Combustible materials for yard and jewelry
- Exterior windows and skylights
Requirements for a protected area
The same population – approximately 80,000 tax bills by WUI extreme or high altitude – may “require people to have a safe haven around where they live or work,” Green said.
She says the rules are not over yet. They are going through a public process this summer, which should be completed by December and by 2023.
“We want the public to be involved in this process,” Green said.
According to Green, the safest place is to set up backyards and places around the house to have a good chance of surviving a wildfire. This may include cutting fuel and grass around homes and other activities.
“Ownership is a barrier between business owners and their homes and between grass, trees, shrubs or forests,” the agency said.
Those who can comment and participate in the process can visit here or email us at SB762@osp.oregon.gov.
This story updates the details of how the new classifications will affect Oregon residents.