Wildfire Mitigation Compliance Through Senate Bill 360 : A Content Analysis of Oregon County Documents
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Even through the integration of home and community defense standards, natural resource protection measures, and innovative wildfire legislation, the threat to life and property from wildfire events remains a top concern for many regions of the world. The growing threat of wildfire in the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) has created overwhelming negative impacts throughout Oregon. In order to protect Oregon WUI areas from wildfire, the Forestland-Urban Interface Fire Protection Act (known as Senate Bill 360 or SB 360) was created in 1997 as a way to enlist the aid of property owners in turning fire-vulnerable urban and suburban properties into less-volatile zones where firefighters may more safely and effectively defend homes from wildfires. The purpose of this project is to identify the degree to which Oregon county Comprehensive Plans and Community Wildfire Protection Plans are compliant with SB 360. I use a content analysis approach to uncover patterns in plan content, county and regional context, and state forest agency alignment. These patterns broadly identify county Comprehensive Plans and Community Wildfire Protection Plans with “Limited”, “Intermediate”, and “Adequate” levels of current SB 360 compliance and serve as a starting point for the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) to craft next steps toward further county-wide SB 360 compliance, integrate specific content from the SB 360 statute in Comprehensive Plans and CWPPs, and re-strategize the county and state SB 360 management structure.