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Wildfire Risk

Community Wildfire Protection Plans

Many Oregon communities develop their own wildfire risk assessments using a variety of methods. Community-driven assessments capture fine-scale, up to date information and knowledge about local fire conditions and history, values at risk and protection capabilities.

Availability and integration of detailed wildfire data for a wider range of Oregon communities could significantly strengthen the relatively coarse-scale state level assessment. Achieving these goals is an ongoing effort.

Most counties in Oregon have completed their initial Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs) that:

  • define community boundaries and WUI areas
  • describe local wildfire hazards and values at risk
  • explain how the community will reduce risk and respond in the event of a wildfire.
Lightning-caused Cache Mtn. Fire, Deschutes NF.

Lightning-caused Cache Mtn. Fire, Deschutes NF

Some CWPPs rely primarily on the state-level risk assessment, but ideally they should incorporate more detailed local information and many already do so. Nearly all could benefit from more precise information about factors that contribute to wildfire risk and community readiness.

The Oregon Communities at Risk assessment and local CWPPs complement each other but differ in scale. Both efforts continue to be improved and refined. The 16 Geographic Information System (GIS) data layers used for Oregon Communities at Risk assessment were the best available that could be applied consistently statewide.

Communities are being encouraged to develop more robust local wildfire risk information and incorporate state-level GIS-based reporting methods.

Some important local values such as infrastructure, ecological values, and historical and cultural sites are not considered in the statewide assessment because consistent data was not available. These values should be addressed in finer-scale local CWPPs. Toward these goals, state wildfire planners have prioritized needs for data that will strengthen community level plans and will also improve the precision of state level assessments.