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UPCOMING EVENTS

Wildfire Home Assessment Volunteer Training

Sep. 17, 2:00 - 4:00 PM, Sunriver Library. Click on RSVP required. Help your communities to become more prepared for wildfire. After the class session, we will schedule small groups of volunteers to complete two practice walk-through inspections. Once you are fully trained, the new volunteers will be leading assessments for our home hardening and defensible space pilot project to take place in the Fall.

Public Meeting: Deschutes County Roads

Sep. 27, 2:00 - 3:30 PM, Sunriver Library. Robert Townsend from ODOT and Chris Doty from Deschutes County will give presentations on current and planned roads projects in South Deschutes County.

Announcements

Central Oregon Wildfire Information

Coronavirus Information

Oregon Revised Action Plan and Timeline for Wildfire Protection

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) today announced a revised action plan and timeline for engaging the public on wildfire protection efforts as part of the state’s strategy to create more fire-resilient communities. Click here for more information.

USFS Community Wildfire Defense Grants

The Community Wildfire Defense Grants are intended to help at-risk local communities and Tribes plan and reduce the risk against wildfire. The Act prioritizes at-risk communities in an area identified as having high or very high wildfire hazard potential, are low-income, and/or have been impacted by a severe disaster. More details on these three priorities can be found in the Notices of Funding Opportunity.

The CWDG helps communities in the wildland urban interface (WUI) implement the three goals of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy (Cohesive Strategy):

  • Restore and Maintain Landscapes: Landscapes across all jurisdictions are resilient to fire-related disturbances, in accordance with management objectives.
  • Create Fire Adapted Communities: Human populations and infrastructure can better withstand a wildfire without loss of life and property.
  • Improve Wildfire Response: All jurisdictions participate in making and implementing safe, effective, efficient risk-based wildfire management decisions.

Statewide Wildfire Risk Map Withdrawn

As required by SB 762, Oregon Department of Forestry posted a wildfire risk map on the Oregon Explorer on June 30, 2022 and sent notifications to property owners in the extreme and high risk classifications shortly after. In response to input received since posting, we have decided to remove the current iteration of the wildfire risk map from the Oregon Explorer and withdraw the notices sent. We will immediately begin working with Oregon State University on some refinements to improve the accuracy of risk classification assignments based on what we’ve heard from property owners thus far.

Since we are withdrawing the initial map and notifications, the current appeals process will end and any appeals filed will become moot. For those who did submit an appeal, we will be reviewing the information submitted and using it to identify any additional areas where we may need to take a closer look at the data.

USFS Fuels Reduction Projects Proposals

The Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District is initiating scoping for three separate hazardous fuels reduction projects. The projects include Oregon Water Wonderland Hazardous Fuel Reduction, Forest Lane Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project and Fall River Estates Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project. The projects are not related and will be analyzed separately. Click here for detailed project information and how to provide comments. Anyone wishing to obtain additional information on these projects may contact Cristina Peterson by email at cristina.peterson@usda.gov.

Oregon Department of Forestry Assistance for Defensible Space Projects in DRRH 1-5 & 9 Communities

Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District is accepting applications from landowners in DRRH 1-5 & 9 communities interested in completing fuel reduction projects around their homes. Specific treatments within these project areas which are eligible for cost-share incentives include thinning of overstocked and diseased juniper and pine stands, pruning limbs on residual trees, mastication of brush and small trees, and chipping materials or burning piles onsite to remove the excess woody debris. Landowners must provide a 25% match for work completed. This match can come through in-kind labor (work performed by the landowner). Historically underserved populations, including elderly and lower income applicants, will receive priority consideration for their applications. Additionally, Oregon Department of Forestry will be providing chipping opportunities for all landowners in these communities.

Landowners who are interested in applying for cost-share for fuel reduction on their property or who would like to having chipping work completed to dispose of vegetative materials can visit https://odfcentraloregongrantinformation.blogspot.com/ for more information or contact Ross Huffman (541-549-2731).

UDRC 2021 Programs Review

The Defensible Space Reimbursement program paid $61,590 to 122 applicants. The Low-income Senior program paid $1,500 to fuels reduction contractors for 2 applicants.

85 Reimbursements to UDRC Communities
37 Reimbursements to La Pine Area Communities

We continue to offer defensible space assistance to low-income Seniors from the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund. We extended our popular Defensible Space Reimbursement program to the La Pine area. The Reimbursement program is funded by grants from the MCM Fund, BNSF Railway Foundation, and First Interstate Bank Foundation.

We received a three-year $90,000 grant from the MCM Fund to continue funding the Reimbursement program. This funding complements recent grants from the BNSF Foundation and First Interstate Bank. We reopened the Reimbursement program for new applications in January, 2022.

We hope to start quarterly public meetings at the Sunriver Area Library depending on COVID restrictions. We welcome the help of anyone who would like to volunteer to help schedule and run the meetings. To help with our operating expenses, please consider a tax-deductible donation to the UDRC.

UDRC Defensible Space Reimbursement Program

The Defensible Space Reimbursement Program is closed for new applications until more grant funds are available in January 2023.

UDRC Low-income Senior or Low-income Disabled Defensible Space Program

The intention of this program is to offer assistance to property owners who cannot do the work themselves, or afford to hire someone else to do the work. UDRC has partnered with Council on Aging of Central Oregon to provide free wildfire fuels reduction services for low-income senior or low-income disabled homeowners in the La Pine Rural Fire Protection District. Click here for a printable flyer describing the program. To apply for this program, click here for the mail in application form with income and age or disability requirements or call Council on Aging at 541-678-5483 to request the application form. Applicants for the Low-income Senior or Low Income Disabled Program may not apply for the Reimbursement program in the same year.

Reporting Graffiti or Illegal Dump Sites

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office inmate work crews have been actively involved in the community by removing graffiti and cleaning up large collections of litter from property throughout Deschutes County. Click here to report graffiti or illegal dump sites in Deschutes County.

USFS Klone Vegetation Management Project

The Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District released a draft environmental assessment for the nearly 35,000-acre Klone Vegetation Management Project south of Bend for a 30-day public comment period. The 34,636-acre planning area is located south of Bend and east of Sunriver. About 10,550 acres on the west side of the planning area are within the wildland urban interface designated by the Upper Deschutes River Community Wildfire Protection Plan. The east side of the planning area borders Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

The purpose of the project is to improve forest resilience against uncharacteristically large disturbance events such as wildfire, insects, and disease through treatments such as thinning and fuels reduction. The project proposes to manage vegetation through silviculture techniques and prescribed fire, and to restore areas through road closures. The Forest Service’s environment assessment can be accessed on the Deschutes National Forest project website at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=57735.

Comments may be submitted electronically to comments-pacificnorthwest-deschutes-bend-ftrock@usda.gov. Please put “Klone” in the subject line of your email. Comments must be submitted as part of the actual e-mail message, or as an attachment in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), rich text format (.rtf), or portable document format (.pdf) only.

USFS 42 Road Wildfire Resilience Project

The Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District is initiating an environmental analysis for the 42 Road GNA Wildfire Resilience Project located on the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District of the Deschutes National Forest. The project area is west of La Pine State Park near Fall River Hatchery and Wake Butte. Click here to view the Scoping Letter. For additional questions, please contact Alicia Underhill, Environmental Coordinator, by email at alicia.underhill@usda.gov or by phone at 541-383-4012.

UDRC Defensible Space Program Featured In Midstate Electric Ruralite Article

The organization’s goal is to lessen the impact of wildfires on people’s lives and lifestyles, on their properties and structures, and on the natural resources of the area, including water, trees and wildlife habitat. “Fires can have a serious impact on communities,” says Jerry Hubbard, president of UDRC and a board member of the La Pine Rural Fire Protection District. “There’s been a positive response to the UDRC program. It’s a good incentive to get people to clean up their property.” Click here to read the article.