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IS YOUR PROPERTY FORESTLAND & IN A WILDFIRE HAZARD ZONE?

In Josephine County Your Property Is Considered Forestland and a Fire Hazard If You Pay the Special Assessments of $18.00 for State Fire Patrol And/or the $38.00 Fire Patrol Improved Assessment

 November 3, 2003
by
Land Use Committee
Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society
Member of the CACNA Coalition

You Pay For Fighting Wildfire In Josephine County, Oregon

You pay for fire protection through your homeowner’s policy and payments to your rural fire district (e.g., Rural/Metro, Grants Pass Rural Fire Department, etc.). But, what are your tax payers’ assessments for normal Oregon Department Of Forestry (ODF) patrol and improved forestry patrol? Present government costs to land owners for fire protection include taxes, assessments, and surcharges. Oregon law provides the following annual taxes, acreage assessments, minimum assessments, and surcharges for fire protection of forestlands.

ORS 477 - Fire Protection of Forests & Vegetation

OAR 629 - Department of Forestry

A timber harvest tax of 50 cents per 1,000 board feet for the payment of benefits related to fire protection [ORS 321.015(2)].

An assessment for fire suppression costs of 6 cents per-acre assessment for all forestland in eastern Oregon and all grazing land in western Oregon [ORS 477.880(2)].

An assessment for fire suppression costs of 4 cents per-acre assessment of for all western Oregon forestland [ORS 477.880(2)].

A minimum assessment of $18.00 for all forestland lots [$3.00 is dedicated to the Oregon Forest Land Protection Fund (OFLPF)] for fire protection and suppression [ORS 477.295(1)].

            OFLPF. A surcharge of $38.00 on all improved lots to defray the increased costs of fire              suppression on forestland that is caused by the existence of improvements [ORS                  477.277(1)].

Is Your Property Considered Forestland & A Fire Hazard?

Is your property considered forestland and a fire hazard by the State of Oregon? Check out your 2003 "Real Property Tax Statement" from Josephine County. If you have a home it is highly likely you will see that you are paying, at a minimum, $56.00 to the county in a fire assessment and a surcharge.

Property Owners There is a minimum assessment of $18.00 for private property owners (called a special assessment for state fire patrol) for all forestland lots.

Home Owners There is a surcharge of $38.00 for private property owners (called a special assessment for fire patrol improved) on all improved lots to defray the increased costs of fire suppression on forestland that is caused by the existence of improvements.

A Wildfire Hazard Zone means a geographic area having a combination of hazard factors that result in a significant hazard of catastrophic fire over relatively long periods of each year.

Forestland-Urban Interface Coming soon to property owners and home owners — Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR 629-044) for implementing the Oregon Forestland-Urban Interface Fire Protection Act of 1997 (Senate Bill 360) include an additional assessment not to exceed $25.00 per parcel of land in the forestland-urban interface for fire prevention and suppression in wildfire hazard zones (0AR 629-044-1110 — Special Assessments).

What Are The Cumulative Wildfire Risks In Your Wildfire Hazard Zone?

In Josephine County your property is considered forestland and a fire hazard, and it will most likely be part of the forestland-urban interface, if you pay the $18.00 and/or the $38.00 assessments. Forest patrol assessment means the costs levied and assessed under ORS 477.270; also see ORS 477.001 (10).

ORS 477.001(9) "Forestland" means any woodland, brushland, timberland, grazing land or clearing that, during any time of the year, contains enough forest growth, slashing or vegetation to constitute, in the judgment of the forester, a fire hazard, regardless of how the land is zoned or taxed.

Forestland relates to private lands presently being assessed for fire protection provided by the ODF. It includes all private land, including clearings, that in the judgment of the ODF constitutes a fire hazard.

What is the long-term cumulative wildfire risks of all existing and future forestland lots, improved lots, and forestland-urban interface lots in your wildfire hazard zone? A Wildfire Hazard Zone means a geographic area having a combination of hazard factors that result in a significant hazard of catastrophic fire over relatively long periods of each year [OAR 629-044-0200(9)].

More Information. Would you like to learn more about wildfire and citizen involvement in land use planning?1 Contact a member the Hugo Neighbor-hood’s Land Use Committee.

1. Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society. November 4, 2003. What Is The Carrying Capacity Of Your Fire Hazard Area? Hugo, OR.

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