Announcements

Central Oregon Wildfire Information

Annual State of South Deschutes County Breakfast

Tuesday, February 27, 7am – 9am
Sunriver Homeowners Aquatic & Recreation Center (SHARC
)
57250 Overlook Road Sunriver

The La Pine Chamber of Commerce and Sunriver Area Chamber of Commerce invite you to learn what’s being done by community leaders to plan for the future of South Deschutes County. $25.00 admission includes breakfast. Click here to register before February 20th.

Guest speakers:

  • Deschutes County Commissioners Patti Adair, Phil Chang and Tony DeBone
  • La Pine City Manager Geoff Wullschlager who will present on the La Pine visioning process and comprehensive plan update, “La Pine 2045.”
  • Newberry Regional Partnership representatives Julia Baumgartner and Kathy DeBone who share the work done by community members to approach growth and change in South Deschutes County
  • SLED Executive Director Patricia Lucas will provide an overview of what SLED does to support businesses in South Deschutes County, and she will highlight the exciting projects underway!
  • Sunriver Owners Association General Manager James Lewis will discuss the development of the 2030 Strategic Plan to guide the long-term direction for Sunriver.

Newberry Regional Partnership

The Newberry Regional Partnership is a team of public and private citizens that have come together to develop a long-range plan for growth in South Deschutes County. Our goal is to create a community strategic action plan and to provide a path for community civic engagement and education.

The Partnership is focused on creating a collaborative organization of community leaders from the public and private sectors to engage the broader La Pine community in planning for and dealing with changes associated with growth in the years ahead.

Email engage@newberryregionalpartnership.org with questions, comments, or suggestions for the group.

The Oregon State Wildfire Hazard Map

To enhance Oregon’s wildfire resilience, the State Legislature passed the 2021 SB 762 Omnibus Wildfire Bill that enacted recommendations from the Governor’s 2019 Wildfire Council. Click here to view a webinar exploring the broader intent of the legislation, its requirements for mapping, where the effort stands today, and what we continue to learn from the public’s reaction.

Two key leadership positions filled on the Deschutes National Forest

Kevin Larkin, Bend-Fort Rock District Ranger since 2012, is the new Deputy Forest Supervisor for the Deschutes National Forest and Kevin Stock, currently the Central Oregon Fire Management Service Fire and Aviation Staff Officer, will take a four-month assignment to become the Acting Bend-Fort Rock District Ranger. Click here for more information.

ODF and OSU to begin updating wildfire hazard map

Oregon Department of Forestry will soon begin work with Oregon State University to update the wildfire hazard map based on direction provided in Senate Bill 80, passed by the 2023 Oregon Legislature. This is in addition to the work ODF and OSU have been doing to incorporate feedback provided by landowners and local governments following last year’s initial map rollout. Click here for more information.

Forest Service Fuels Reduction Project Bordering OWW II Subdivision

Deschutes National Forest recently completed a wildfire fuels reduction project on a 40 acre parcel bordering the Oregon Water Wonderland II subdivision. Slash piles will be burned during the winter. Click here for a photo of the project.

Oregon State Fire Marshal launches a website to educate about defensible space

To better prepare Oregonians for wildfire and give them resources to help create defensible space, the Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) has launched a new defensible space educational tool. The Oregon Defensible Space Program offers Oregon-specific wildfire preparedness best practices, resources for download, and an in-person defensible space property assessment request portal. Creating defensible space is something everyone can do to reduce the wildfire risk to their home or business from wildfire. This website provides a one-stop shop for Oregonians with information and other resources they need to protect their homes and neighborhoods.

Whether people want to connect with local programs, gain insight into maintaining defensible space, or begin a defensible space plan, Oregonians can find resources by visiting Oregon Defensible Space (https://oregondefensiblespace.org/)

New Fire Chief for La Pine Rural Fire District

The La Pine Rural Fire Protection District is pleased to announce the hiring of Erick Holsey as the District’s new Fire Chief. The selection follows the June 30, 2023 retirement of Chief Mike Supkis. Click here for more information.

UDRC Defensible Space Reimbursement Program

The 2024 Spring Defensible Space Reimbursement program is open for applications from property owners who did not receive a reimbursement in 2023.

The UDRC will help property owners within the La Pine Rural Fire Protection District with the cost of creating or maintaining defensible space for wildfire risk reduction. The UDRC will reimburse your expenses for licensed fuels reduction contractors or rental equipment up to $500 maximum. One application for a UDRC Defensible Space program from a sole or joint property owner will be accepted for work completed by June 30, 2024.

Applicants for the Reimbursement Program may not apply for the Low-income Senior program in the same year. The UDRC will not reimburse work completed before your application is approved. Your work plan must include examples of wildfire fuels reduction listed on the application form. To apply for the 2024 Spring Defensible Space Reimbursement Program click here for the online application form.

UDRC Low-income Senior or 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 UDRC at 541-556-0317 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.

2023 UDRC Programs Review

Defensible Space Reimbursement Program

Total Reimbursements: 100
Property Owner Expenses: $127,467
UDRC Reimbursement Payments: $49,037
54 reimbursements to UDRC communities
46 reimbursements to La Pine Area communities

Low-income Senior Defensible Space Program

Property Assessments: 20
Projects Completed: 15
Contractor Payments: $15,000

Home Hardening Pilot Program

Property Assessments: 16
Projects Completed: 8
Homeowner Expenses: $6,276
UDRC Reimbursement Payments: $3,138

The Low-income Senior program is funded by a grant from the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund and Coalitions & Collaboratives AIM grant. The Reimbursement program is funded by grants from the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund, BNSF Railway Foundation, and Oregon State Fire Marshal Office. The Home Hardening Pilot Program was funded by a Coalitions & Collaboratives AIM grant.

Public Meetings

Forum to introduce the new Deschutes County Forester and Project Wildfire Coordinator. Cosponsored a film screening of “The West is Burning” with Discover Your Forest. Cosponsored a Wildfire Defensible Space Workshop with Oregon State Fire Marshall Office. Presented UDRC grant opportunities for a South Deschutes County grant workshop hosted by Oregon Living with Fire. If you have suggestions for future public meeting topics click on Contact UDRC.

Deschutes County hires new County Forester and Fire Adapted Communities Coordinator

Deschutes County has hired Kevin Moriarty as its new County Forester and Corinne Heiner as its new Fire Adapted Communities Coordinator. As County Forester, Kevin Moriarty will lead the day-to-day operations of the County’s Natural Resources program, which focuses on fire prevention, mitigation and preparedness. The program also provides education and support to landowners for noxious weed control. Corinne will facilitate fire adapted community strategies through the management of the Firewise Communities Program and will work closely with the community and partners to prepare, revise and implement Community Wildfire Protection Plans. She will also support educational opportunities for county residents and stakeholders.

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.