2015 ORS 477.068¹
Liability for cost of abatement
  • interest
  • lien
  • foreclosure
  • attorney fees

(1) In case an owner or operator fails to perform the duty required by ORS 477.066 (Duty of owner and operator to abate fire), or is willful, malicious or negligent in the origin or subsequent spread of the fire, the actual cost incurred by the forester or a forest protective association or agency in controlling or extinguishing the fire shall be paid by the owner or operator within 90 days after the date on which the first written demand for payment of the actual cost is mailed by the State Forester to the owner or operator. If the actual cost is not paid within such 90-day period, such amount shall bear interest at 10 percent per year from the date on which the first written demand for the payment of the actual costs was mailed by the State Forester and the actual cost together with such interest may be recovered from such owner or operator by an action prosecuted in the name of the State of Oregon, or such forest protective association or agency, or both.

(2) An itemized statement of the actual cost incurred by the forester or association or agency, or both, certified to by the forester, shall be accepted as prima facie evidence of the actual cost in any proceeding authorized by this section.

(3) The actual cost in cases covered by ORS 477.066 (Duty of owner and operator to abate fire) shall constitute a general lien upon the real and personal property of such owner or operator. A written notice of the lien, containing a description of the property and a statement of the actual cost, shall be certified under oath by the forester or any warden and filed in the office of the county clerk of the county in which the lands and personal property are situated within 12 months after the calendar year within which the fire originated, and may be foreclosed in the manner provided by law for foreclosure of liens for labor and material. In any proceeding to foreclose a lien created under this subsection, recovery for the plaintiff shall include, in addition to the amount of the actual cost, interest on such amount at the rate of 10 percent per year from the date of the filing of the written notice of the lien.

(4) Upon request of the forester, the district attorney for the district in which the lands and personal property are situated or the Attorney General shall prosecute such action or foreclose the lien in the name of the State of Oregon or such forest protective association or agency, or both. Liens provided for in this section shall cease to exist unless suit for foreclosure is instituted within 12 months from the date of filing under subsection (3) of this section.

(5) In any action under subsection (1) of this section to recover actual cost and in any proceeding to foreclose any lien created by subsection (3) of this section, the court shall award, in addition to costs and disbursements, reasonable attorney fees at trial and on appeal to the prevailing party. [Formerly 477.038; 1955 c.218 §1; 1959 c.363 §6; 1961 c.603 §8; 1965 c.253 §53; 1965 c.428 §§11,12; 1973 c.66 §1; 1981 c.897 §54; 1983 c.22 §3; 1983 c.27 §1; 1997 c.206 §1]

Notes of Decisions

Liability for firefighting costs does not constitute exclusive remedy precluding suit for damages under [former] ORS 477.090. Henderson v. Nielsen, 127 Or App 109, 871 P2d 495 (1994), Sup Ct review denied

Defendant in ac­tion to recover fire suppression costs has right to jury. State Forestry Depart­ment v. Louisiana Pacific Corp., 166 Or App 205, 999 P2d 487 (2000)

Completed Cita­tions

State Forester v. Umpqua R. Nav. Co., 258 Or 10, 478 P2d 631 (1970), cert. denied, 404 US 826 (1971)


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 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 477, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano477.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
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.