2015 ORS 477.059¹
Obligation of landowner to comply with standards
  • rules
  • certification by landowner
  • penalty for failure to comply

(1)(a) The State Board of Forestry shall by rule establish minimum standards for minimizing or mitigating:

(A) Fire hazards or risks on land within a forestland-urban interface due to the presence of structures or the arrangement or accumulation of vegetative fuels; and

(B) Other fire hazards or risks or combinations of fire hazards or risks.

(b) In adopting rules under this subsection, the board shall take into account the variability of the forestland-urban interface in different parts of the state.

(c) An owner of land within a forestland-urban interface must comply with the minimum standards applicable to the land.

(2)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, but no more frequently than once every five years, the State Forester shall provide written notice of the applicable minimum standards established under this section to each owner of land within a forestland-urban interface, unless the owner requests a copy more frequently.

(b) The board need not give notice under paragraph (a) of this subsection to an owner of land if the owner is a member of a homeowners association by reason of owning the land and the State Forester has entered into a cooperative agreement with the homeowners association pursuant to ORS 477.023 (Fire protection system) (2)(e) that provides for notice to owners through the association.

(3) An owner of land within a forestland-urban interface must certify in writing to the State Forester that the owner has complied with the applicable minimum standards established under this section not later than two years after the order designating the land as being within the forestland-urban interface is filed with the county clerk under ORS 477.052 (Hearings on proposed classifications) (2). If a subsequent order is filed that changes the classification of the land, the owner of the land must make a supplemental certification in writing to the State Forester that reflects the measures that the owner has taken to comply with the applicable minimum standards established under this section for the new classification not later than six months after the new order is filed.

(4) The State Forester shall accept certifications made to the forester under subsection (3) of this section. Any owner of land whose written certification has been accepted by the State Forester under this subsection is not liable for the costs of suppressing a fire under subsection (6) of this section, unless the State Forester subsequently determines that the owner of land has provided a false certification.

(5) The State Board of Forestry may require periodic renewal of a certification accepted by the State Forester under subsection (4) of this section, and may require supplemental certifications from the owner of land that reflect the measures that the owner has taken to comply with the applicable minimum standards established under this section. An owner of land is responsible for maintaining the land described by the certification in compliance with the applicable minimum standards established under this section.

(6) The owner of land designated to be within a forestland-urban interface is liable to the State Forester for the costs of suppressing a fire that occurs on that land, as described in subsection (7) of this section, if:

(a) The owner has failed to meet the applicable minimum standards established under this section;

(b) The fire originates on the owner’s land;

(c) The ignition or spread of the fire is directly related to the owner’s failure to meet the applicable minimum standards established under this section; and

(d) The fire requires action by the forester pursuant to ORS 477.066 (Duty of owner and operator to abate fire) (2).

(7) The liability of an owner of land under subsection (6) of this section may not exceed $100,000. The State Forester may not seek recovery under subsection (6) of this section for any portion of the costs of suppressing a fire that are the ordinary costs of the regular personnel and equipment of the forest protection district in which the land is located. This subsection does not limit the liability of the owner under ORS 477.120 (Liability of owner or operator). [1997 c.429 §17; 2007 c.30 §9]


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 477—Fire Protection of Forests and Vegetation, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors477.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 OregonLaws.org contains the con­tents of Volume 21 of the ORS, inserted along­side the per­tin­ent statutes. See the preface to the ORS An­no­ta­tions for more information.
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.