OSFM set to host townhall meetings on 2022 OREGON DEFENSIBLE SPACE CODE DEVELOPMENT

NOTICE: the August 3rd meeting is the Oregon State Fire Marshal Office to address codes for hardening of homes and defensible space.  It is not Oregon Department of Forestry and will not address wildfire maps.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Credit to Rep. Lily Morgan for passing on this information…

OSFM SET TO HOST TOWNHALL MEETINGS ON 2022 OREGON DEFENSIBLE SPACE CODE DEVELOPMENT

The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) has announced a series of town hall meetings to talk about the 2022 Oregon Defensible Space Code (SB 762), its development, timelines, and upcoming opportunities for community input.

The OSFM has been working through a process with the Oregon Defensible Space Code Development committee, a diverse group of stakeholders, to develop the new code based on the framework established through SB 762. To continue that process, the OSFM will host a series of 17 community townhalls across Oregon beginning the week of August 1. The first of the series will be held in southern Oregon.

The meetings will be hosted in Ashland, Medford, Grants Pass, and Roseburg. Dates and times for each community meeting are as follows:
• August 2 at 11:30 am – 1 pm, Ashland, Ashland High School, 201 S Mountain Ave
• August 2 at 5:30 – 7 pm, Medford, Hedrick Middle School, 1501 E Jackson St
August 3 at 5:30 – 7 pm, Grants Pass, Performing Arts Center (PAC), 830 NE 9th St
• August 4 at 5:30 – 7 pm, Roseburg, Roseburg Public Safety Building, Umpqua Room, 700 SE Douglas Ave.
For a full schedule, please visit Oregon Defensible Space Code website.

In June, the Oregon Department of Forestry and Oregon State University released the Oregon Wildfire Risk Map. Oregon Senate Bill 762 directs the OSFM to establish minimum defensible space code standards and where those may apply, which are areas identified in both the high or extreme risk and in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI).

The OSFM has set up a special section on its website dedicated to the defensible space code development process. Those wishing to learn more can do so here defensible space code requirements.

WUI, High, and Extreme Risk: Appeals Process
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.
Filing an appeal
To file an appeal, use the Appeal Form and submit it electronically, or mail it to:
Oregon Department of Forestry
Protection Division
Attn: Risk map appeals
2600 State Street
Salem, OR 97310

If filing electronically, please keep these tips in mind:
• The form works best if you download it first.
• The form does not work from iOS platforms (iPhones or iPads).
• If using Mac OS, download the form and open with Adobe Acrobat Reader. It won’t work from Apple’s Preview application.
• If the “submit” button isn’t working for you, you can still email the completed electronic form to SB762.Rulemaking@odf.oregon.gov.

Appeals must be received within 60 days of when property owners and local governments are notified of the risk assignment. ODF is mailing a notice to all properties assigned the high or extreme risk July 21, 2022. Public notice has also been given for residents of all other risk classes. Appeal requests must be received by Sept. 21, 2022.