Public comment period for WUI, statewide wildfire risk map rules extended, additional information session scheduled
SALEM, Ore.—Public hearings were held April 19–21 to gather feedback on a rules package establishing the identification criteria for the wildland-urban interface and development of a statewide wildfire risk map, as required by Senate Bill 762 (2021).
During public hearings, the department heard several requests for more time to provide comments on the proposed rules. Based on that input, the department is extending the public comment period to noon on May 9, 2022. That is the latest time the department can accept input and present the rules to the Board of Forestry for adoption. The department must also allow time for Oregon State University to complete the map based on the adopted rules by the statutory deadline of June 30, 2022.
ODF is also hosting an additional virtual information session on Friday, April 29, 2022, at a 3 p.m. Zoom meeting. No public hearing will be held, but written comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org until the extended deadline of noon, May 9, 2022.
The Board of Forestry approved the public hearing process for the proposed rule package, Oregon Administrative Rules 629-044-1000 to 629-044-1041 and 629-045-1025, during their March 9 meeting. See the notice of proposed rulemaking for draft rule language. The department consulted a rulemaking advisory committee comprised of 26 members representing a wide variety of stakeholder interests while drafting the proposed rules.
The rules will be used by Oregon State University to develop and maintain the statewide wildfire risk map, which includes assigning one of five risk classes to individual properties. The rules establish the notification process to property owners and how to appeal assignment of a risk classification.