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:: Home > The Watershed > Hot topic: Fire > Wildland-Urban Interface
The Wildland-Urban Interface ...

Those Oregonians who live in or near the forest should pay special attention to the increasing risk of large and dangerous wildfires. Their lives may depend on it! Over 240,000 Oregon homes are located in the "wildland-urban interface."

house in wildland-urban interface

Fortunately, there are many things that can be done to reduce fire risk:

  1. Homes can be made more fire-resistant, for example by replacing cedar-shake roofing with metal.
  2. The area around homes can be made more fireproof, by reducing the amount of shrubs, small trees, dead limbs and other fuel nearby. Landscaping can be changed to include only the most fire-resistant plants. Firewood and propane tanks can be moved farther away from the home (at least 30 feet).
  3. Access for firefighting equipment can be improved, by constructing wider roads and alternate exits. Street signs and house numbers should be clearly marked.

The Oregon state legislature recently passed the "Oregon Forestland-Urban Interface Fire Protection Act" (also known as SB360). Counties will designate which property owners are affected, and will set standards for certification. Homeowners who do not comply may be billed for the cost of suppressing fires that start on their property. Currently only Jackson and Deschutes Counties are affected.

Learn more about the Forestland-Urban Interface Fire Protection Act.

For more details on what can be done to protect your home, check out the following links (clicking on these will open a new window in your browser):

FireWise: Making Sensible Choices in the Wildland-Urban Interface

Living With Fire: A Guide for the Homeowner (PDF file)