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Navigating Wildfire Risk

You are invited to attend a free presentation by representatives from Oregon Division of Financial Regulation about insurance for a wildfire disaster. Please click on RSVP to indicate which session you plan to attend.

July 29, 2022, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
La Pine Senior Activity Center, 16450 Victory Way, La Pine

July 30, 2022, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Sunriver Public Library, 56855 Venture Lane, Sunriver


Central Oregon Wildfire Information

Coronavirus Information

Statewide Wildfire Risk Map Withdrawn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.

Oregon Defensible Space Code Town Hall Meetings

Under Senate Bill 762, the Office of State Fire Marshal is mandated to adopt a statewide minimum defensible space code. The code development process will be complete by December 2022 and go into effect in 2023. 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.

  • August 16, Sunriver, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Three Rivers School Gym, 569000 Enterprise Drive, Sunriver, OR 97707
  • August 16, Bend, 5:30 – 7 p.m., Location TBD
  • August 17, Sisters, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Sisters Community Room, 301 S Elm Street, Sisters, OR 97759
  • August 17, Prineville, 5:30 – 7 p.m., Location TBD

Oregon Wildfire Risk Map Community Information Session

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) is holding a series of community information sessions about the Wildfire Risk Map. Each session will include a presentation about the map’s function and purpose, how wildfire risk is assessed, and how property owners may appeal their assigned risk class. Time will be available to address questions from community members. ODF staff and representatives from Oregon State University will provide the sessions. The presentation portion of the sessions will be recorded and posted to ODF’s YouTube channel.

  • Aug. 10, 7-8 PM, Deschutes County Fairgrounds, 3800 SW Airport Way, Redmond

Deschutes County Fuel Reduction Grant Program

The Deschutes County Fuel Reduction Grant Program is designed to assist communities with specific, short-term projects related to reducing fuels and improving defensible space in Deschutes County. A total of $100,000 is available to fund fuel reduction projects. Preference will be given to communities or neighborhoods that are working to be recognized as a Firewise USA™ site or are currently recognized as a Firewise USA™ site and are proposing projects consistent with their Firewise action plan and community assessment. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16.

Interested applicants can learn more and ask questions about the grant opportunity by attending one of two meetings. Pre-registration is required. Register at the links below:

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 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.

New Brochure Available From Project Wildfire

Project Wildfire recently completed a brochure for handouts to reach the average resident. The new tri-fold is available for pick-up from the Project Wildfire office at 61150 SE 27th St., Bend and a printer friendly version is available on the web. Click here for a printable brochure. Email boone.zimmerlee@deschutes.org to request copies for your network or community.

Wildfire Home Protection Strategies Workshop

Project Wildfire presents a Wildfire Home Protection Strategies class based on fire science research into how homes and other structures ignite during wildfires as well as information on wildfire behavior, structure exposure, and the concepts of defensible space. You will learn how to analyze wildfire risks to structures, provide actionable advice to property owners, and how to take action in your community. Click here to watch the video.

Firewise Communities Story Map

Deschutes County Project Wildfire has been working on a Story Map that focuses on the communities in Deschutes County that are either already a Firewise recognized site or interested in recognition. Through this story map we highlight the work communities have done, provide examples of projects, along with resources for new communities interested in becoming recognized.

Within the Story Map you will find an interactive map of past fires within Deschutes County along with a map of Firewise Recognized sites with a preview of the community, past projects, and contact info. In the “Becoming Firewise” portion of the Story Map you will find resources to help plan community projects and a checklist to assist new communities in navigating the process of becoming recognized. Click here to view the Story Map.

Three Rivers Area Wildfire Risk Report

This report from Headwaters Economics presents data about wildfire risk, socioeconomic vulnerability, and land use to help communities understand their relative wildfire risk profile. It was created through a partnership between Headwaters Economics and the U.S. Forest Service through the Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire program using data from Wildfire Risk to Communities. Click here to view the report.

NFPA Course: Understanding the Wildfire Threat to Homes

This online learning module is an overview of fire history, fire basics, and how homes burn. It’s an excellent resource for residents and other stakeholders that are pursuing knowledge on the basics of how wildfires ignite homes and the actions that can be implemented to make homes safer. Click here for more information.

Firewise Workshops – A Community Approach

We have recently completed a 3 part workshop covering Firewise Basics, Outreach Strategies and Community Project Planning. These workshops were held online with guest speakers including subject matter experts from our local communities and agencies throughout Deschutes County. The purpose of these workshops were to make connections across Firewise sites, share ideas and lessons learned. As an outcome of these workshops a network of support and resources were created to help Firewise sites succeed in their efforts. Click here to view the workshop videos and resources.